THP-E169: South Africa’s Ambitious Green Hydrogen Pipeline And World’s Largest Hydrogen Refueling Station Picks Its Partner

December 05, 2022 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2022 • Episode: 169

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 169, South Africa talks hydrogen infrastructure, and Emerson wins a huge bid in South Korea. All this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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South Africa talks hydrogen infrastructure, and Emerson wins a huge bid in South Korea. All this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen, and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to the hydrogen podcast.

In news coming out of South Africa, 300 billion rand investment pipeline has been identified under South Africa’s green hydrogen national program, which has been designated as a strategic integrated project for accelerated development under the country’s infrastructure development act. This is an article from Terence Creamer in mining weekly. Speaking at the South Africa green hydrogen summit in Cape Town on Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa argued that government was seeking to use the program to position the country as a quote, investment destination of choice, as countries in Europe and Asia sought to import green hydrogen to both decarbonize and bolster their energy security. South Africa, the president said had the potential to produce up to 13 million tons of green hydrogen and derivatives a year by 2050.

To do so it would require between 140 gigawatts and 300 gigawatts of renewable energy, which would represent a massive scale up in a context where South Africa had procured only about seven gigawatts of wind and solar since 2011. South Africa’s existing renewables generators are currently insufficient even to cover the electricity supply gaps left by Eskom is failing coal fleet, which has resulted in the country entering into its most extensive period of load shedding since power cuts were first introduced more than a decade ago, Ramaphosa said South Africa’s strategy would embrace the export of green hydrogen and derivative products such as green steel, sustainable aviation fuel, ammonia and fertilizers.

The country would also seek to position itself to manufacture electrolyzers fuel cells and renewable energy components. He again stressed South Africa’s inherent green hydrogen production advantages owing to its world class wind and solar endowments. These advantages were amplified, moreover, by the fact that companies such as Sasol and PetroSA had expertise in using hydrogen in the production of synthetic fuels and chemicals, with South Africa already producing 2.4 million tons of gray hydrogen yearly for domestic consumption. The President continues by saying we are driving regulatory and legislative reform to make our economy more competitive, to attract more investment and to create more jobs. Now, a total of 19 Green hydrogen projects had been identified for development, nine of which haven’t been formally registered with infrastructure South Africa, an initiative of the Ministry of Public Works and infrastructure to the presidency to accelerate infrastructure investment. Public Works and infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille announced that the green hydrogen national program had been included in an updated list of SIP’s to be listed in an upcoming government Gazette.

projects identified as SIP’s are theoretically placed on an expedited path to development with prescribed and shortened timeframes for various project approvals, and authorizations. De Lille confirmed that the Gazette would include the Prieska Power Reserve, the Ubuntu Green Hydrogen Project, the Hydrogen Valley developments, the Boegoebaai Green Hydrogen Development and the Saldanha Bay Hydrogen Project. Providing an update on the flagship Boegoebaai project, Ramaphosa said that Sasol and the Northern Cape provincial government had made significant progress on the master plan for a green hydrogen special economic zone (SEZ), which aims to support 40 GW of electrolyser capacity by 2050. And another quote by Ramaphosa this would require approximately 80 gigawatts of renewable energy, which is almost double South Africa’s current installed electricity generation capacity. He also said that Transnet has issued a request for proposals for the development of the port and rail project, which could see the port developed by 2028. Western Cape Premier Alan Winde highlighted that he and Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul had signed heads of agreement for the two provinces to collaborate on the so-called Western Southern African Development Community Green Hydrogen Corridor to produce green hydrogen for the global and local markets. Under the agreement the provinces which both have green hydrogen strategies will seek to kickstart projects such as green iron ore smelting at the mothballed ArcelorMittal South Africa facility in Saldanha Bay and the Boegoebaai SEZ.

Winde also flagged the potential for cooperation with neighboring Namibia, which was moving ahead with plans for an $11 billion 350,000 tonne per year green hydrogen project. Namibia presidential economic adviser James Mnyupe stressed the potential for the green hydrogen projects in South Africa and southern Namibia to complement each other and unlocking a large scale green hydrogen industry by developing cross border pipeline and electricity infrastructure. In a quote from Mnyupe, We envision a 2 500-km pipeline from Lüderitz all the way to Saldanha, with a T-junction all the way to Secunda as well, Mnyupe referring to Sasol’s petrochemical hub, in Mpumalanga, which currently uses grey hydrogen to produce fuels and chemicals. He estimated the cost of such a pipeline to be 20 billion euros and stress the need for cooperation between the two countries to support such an ambition. He also said we cannot do projects like this alone. Okay, so some very interesting news coming out of South Africa, which by looking at all this information on the surface, looks to be a great idea. And I’ll say this, when it comes to their potential for renewable energy, and utilizing that for hydrogen, there is a lot of upside there. And what I’m really liking is the fact that South Africa and Namibia are talking about joining forces, much like several states in the United States are doing and setting up hubs.

Now, when I started off this article, they mentioned a 300 billion rand investment for this pipeline. And that equates to just over $17 billion. And that’s a lot of money for any country trying to invest in hydrogen. And that’s double what the United States is looking for it with their $8 million Ira dedicated to hydrogen. They also talked a lot in this article about exporting to Europe, which I think can be a great idea, depending on how they design their exports. And in this case, I would only imagine that they’re really looking mostly at Green ammonia for their export. But in the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing how these hubs develop. And if Namibia and South Africa really use this as an opportunity to become energy independent. Next, in a press release on December 1, Emerson chosen as automation partner for world’s largest hydrogen refueling station for commercial vehicles. Korea Hydrogen Green Energy Network or (KOHYGEN), has chosen global technology company Emerson’s advanced automation solutions to help ensure the safety and reliability of its pioneering hydrogen infrastructure initiative, which recently marked the completion of the world’s largest hydrogen refueling station for commercial vehicles.

The project is an important step toward the to organization’s goals of reducing emissions, driving investment in hydrogen and accelerating the transition to a net zero global economy. In a quote from KyungSil Lee, KOHYGEN’s chief executive officer, we’re committed to building Smart Safe hydrogen refueling infrastructure by leveraging it based integrated operations using large capacity, high efficiency charging systems and most importantly, strengthening design safety standards. Emerson is helping us secure abundant clean energy for Korea and the world. The JeonjuPyeonghwa hydrogen refueling station is the first of 35 high capacity gas and liquid hydrogen refueling stations, KOHYGEN plans to construct across Korea by 2025. The first hydrogen station has a charging capacity of 300 kilograms per hour, which can fuel up to 15 buses and trucks an hour or over 100 per day 12 times more than average capacity hydrogen stations to further lay the foundation for a stable hydrogen supply chain. Emerson and KOHYGEN are collaborating on technical standards for future high capacity, commercial refueling stations and similar projects. KOHYGEN plans to expand its hydrogen supply platform to service hydrogen powered aircraft, ships and other diverse forms of transportation.

In a quote from Mike Train, Emerson’s Chief Sustainability Officer in line with Emerson’s greening by sustainability strategy, we’ve worked on a range of hydrogen projects globally, applying our expertise and innovative technologies to scale hydrogen consumption and make renewable energy a reality. Partnering with KOHYGEN is another critical step forward in diversifying our global energy mix. Now in addition to deep domain experience across the hydrogen value chain, Emerson is providing core technologies, including temperature transmitters, Flow Meters, pressure transmitters, programmable logic controllers, and valves to deliver the high level of performance necessary for developing a commercially viable hydrogen charging model that can expand Korea’s domestic hydrogen market and serve as a template in other countries. KOHYGEN is a special purpose company held jointly by nine energy industry leaders, including Korea District Heating Corporation, Hyundai Motors, GS Caltex, S-Oil, Hyundai Oilbank, SK Energy, SK Gas, E1 and Air Liquide Korea. So really some big news coming out of South Korea and a big win, I think, by Emerson, because there’s technological developments like the ones that Emerson are making, that will continue to help drive the hydrogen transition forward.

Now, obviously, countries like Korea, and even Japan are going to be pushing things like this even farther forward than the US or Europe. But I can envision something like this setting a benchmark that other countries are going to look at that does include places like Germany, the UK, and the US, as those other countries really begin developing their hydrogen infrastructure.

All right, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have a second, I would really appreciate it. If you could leave a good review on whatever platform it is that you listen to Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google, YouTube, whatever it is, that will be a tremendous help to the show. And as always, if you ever have any feedback, you’re welcome to email me directly at And as always, take care. Stay safe. I’ll talk to you later.

Hey, this is Paul. I hope you liked this podcast. If you did want to hear more. I’d appreciate it if you would either subscribe to this channel on YouTube, or connect with your favorite platform through my website at Thanks for listening.I very much. Appreciate it. Have a great day.