Energy Capital & Power

A Drive for a Green Energy Future: Hive Hydrogen Launches its Green Ammonia Plant

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Hive Hydrogen has officially launched South Africa’s first-ever green ammonia plant, reaffirming the important role of green hydrogen in the country’s future energy mix. During the launch ceremony – held on Tuesday the 18th of January at the site location in Nelson Mandela Bay – Hive Hydrogen and partners, including the Department of Trade and Industry, Afrox, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Cerebos, Tankatara Farm, and the Coega Development Corporation, officially launched the ground breaking project.

Chairman of Hive Hydrogen, Thulani Gcabashe remarked at the launch that, “today is an historic moment in the history of Hive Hydrogen. It is the moment we move forward with our green ammonia project. In this era, where climate change is imperative in our times, and where it is important that we reach net zero by 2050, such a project assumes great significance. Hydrogen and ammonia hold the key in this particular endeavor.” Gcabashe further added that, “this is the largest ammonia production project of its kind in South Africa. The pressure to succeed is enormous and I can say that our contact team is focused on nothing else but achieving success. Collaboration with various government departments, their parastatals, the private sector and other key stakeholders will be extremely important. We welcome the support we have seen so far and want to work with partners for a long time to come.”

South Africa is considered a well-suited market for green hydrogen production, largely due to the country’s significant renewable resources and growing demand for clean energy. Representing the first of its kind in the country, Hive Hydrogen’s $4.6 billion green ammonia plant will be instrumental in the transition to a clean energy future.

Hive Energy Ltd. CEO, Giles Redpath, commented that “sub-Saharan Africa has the greatest wealth in terms of renewable resources. We have the potential to be a leader in terms of addressing climate change. This project is incredibly important because it will be the world’s largest ammonia plant. The dynamics of this site work incredibly well from the Cerebos salt plant to the farm hosting our solar plant to all the infrastructure in the port and the goodwill in Nelson Mandela Bay. We want this project to showcase inward investment in South Africa.”

Strategically located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, the landmark plant will focus predominantly on the export of green ammonia. Contributing success factors for the large-scale initiative also include the municipal area’s abundant renewable energy resources; strategic position in the Coega Special Economic Zone; as well as its access to the deepwater Port of Ngqura and the Cerebos desalination plant.

“As a strategic partner, Coega SEZ looks forward to a long and successful business relationship with the Hive Energy Group’s green ammonia project. We hope to provide you with superior value propositions for the project, walk with you throughout the various development stages and see the project to its commissioning,” stated Asanda Xawuka, Executive Manager: Business Development, Coega Development Corporation.

Managing Director of Cerebos, John Drinkwater remarked that, “[Cerebos is] extremely excited to play a role in such a meaningful and impactful project. I am so glad Cerebos has the opportunity to add value for this project. As long-standing partners, you have chosen a wonderful location and the right development partners to turn this project into a major success.”

As the world transitions to low carbon economies powered by green energy sources for purposes of both climate change mitigation and socio-economic development, the green ammonia plant has not only reaffirmed the renewable energy potential in South Africa, but paved the way for future hydrogen-directed investments across the country. With demand for green ammonia increasing rapidly across the world, large-scale projects such as this will not only enable global demand to be met, but will usher in a new wave of economic development for the region.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Hon. Ebrahim Patel, was clear that “we established the green hydrogen panel to advise on what are the catalytic projects and opportunities to unlock the industrial potential of green hydrogen. One of the opportunities identified was the market opportunities within the maritime industry. We need to be encouraging and giving voice support to those efforts by the private sector for developing commercially viable and sustainable projects.”

Finally, representing the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, Executive Mayor Eugené Johnson announced that “on behalf of the Council of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, I pledge my full support and endorsement for the green ammonia project. We are proud and elated to have been chosen as the host city for the first South African green ammonia project. Hive Hydrogen has proven that it has a commitment to renewable energy. Despite the fact that it was established as recently as 2010, the company shows a lot of passion, expertise and initiative.”

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Charné Hollands

Charné Hollands

Charné Hollands is the Deputy Editor at Energy Capital & Power. She holds a Higher Certificate in Professional Photography and Masters in Media Studies from the University of Cape Town. Charné writes content for ECP's website and events as well as co-authored African Energy Chamber: Road to Recovery.