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Govt Prepares for Green Hydrogen Legislation

The Ministry of Mines and Energy is set to convene its first-ever workshop to lay the groundwork for the development of legislative measures to facilitate the implementation of Namibia’s green hydrogen projects next week.

The workshop aims to address the absence of existing regulatory frameworks for green hydrogen projects, which poses a significant challenge to their successful implementation.

Key government representatives, ministries, regulators and agencies will converge on Monday and Tuesday next week to deliberate on policy formulation and the scope of sectoral legislation.

Green hydrogen commissioner James Mnyupe says the workshop will culminate in the development of a legislative roadmap and the establishment of specialised working groups to address pivotal aspects of the new legislation.

Capital costs and technological complexities associated with green hydrogen production require a supportive legal environment to foster investment security.

This means the Water Resources Management Act of 2004, the Water Resources Management Act of 2013, the energy regulatory authority bill of 2019, the new equitable economic empowerment bill of 2016, the Standards Act of 2005 and the Electricity Act of 2007 and other mining and energy legislation may have to be revisited.

“This initiative underscores Namibia’s commitment to sustainable energy practices and the ambition to emerge as a leader in the green hydrogen industry, while also engaging international experts to inform decisions based on global best practices,” Mnyupe says.

Meanwhile, Namibia’s green hydrogen programme, headed by Mnyupe, is gearing up for a dynamic start in 2024, with a team of eight executives to support the Ministry of Mines and Energy in realising the goals and objectives of the Synthetic Fuels Strategy.
Mnyupe says applications for these positions have already received an overwhelming response.

The programme has also secured €4,5 million in partnership with the German government to conduct a strategic environmental impact assessment of the Southern Corridor Development Initiative.

A vital initiative of the programme is the creation of green shipping corridors between Namibia’s ports and other ports in Europe and Africa.

This project aims to reduce emissions from the shipping industry, responsible for nearly 3% of global emissions.

“Plans are in place to initiate this project with a letter of intent at COP28, commencing pre-feasibility work in the first quarter of 2024,” Mnyupe says.

He also gave an update on the second edition of the Youth for Green Hydrogen Scholarship programme, which concluded on 13 October.

“Over 3 000 applications have been received and are currently under review, with the announcement of successful candidates scheduled for the end of November,” Mnyupe says.

In another development, HyIron, the world’s first direct reduced iron facility, is set to commence construction in Namibia early next month.
HyIron aims to utilise locally produced hydrogen to manufacture sponge iron, a vital component in steel production.

Supported by a €13,8 million grant from the German government, the facility intends to produce 15 000 tonnes of direct reduced iron and prevent 27 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions during its initial phase.

Source : Namibian