De Lille visits the Prieska Power Reserve Green Hydrogen Project

Friday, August 26, 2022

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Patricia de Lille, today visited the Prieska Power Reserve Green Hydrogen Project, a ground-breaking project for South Africa in the green hydrogen space.

During her visit to the plant in the Northern Cape, De Lille said South Africa has been researching the potential of the hydrogen (H2) economy since 2007 through H2 South Africa (HYSA) led by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). 

The work has predominantly been focused on green hydrogen’s application in green mobility with a focus on green hydrogen powered fuel cell electric vehicles as an alternative to internal combustion engine vehicles.

“This first of its kind green hydrogen and ammonia project was founded and developed by an African Black women-led company, Mahlako a Phahla, in partnership with the Central Energy Corporation (CENEC) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC),” De Lille said.

Green Hydrogen provides the best long-term opportunity to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors as its use is free of emissions. Green H2 is also a Just Energy Transition and empowerment enabler.

 “South Africa has a number of strategic advantages which could make it a globally competitive green hydrogen production area,” the Minister said adding that Green H2 is still an emerging sector with significant potential.

“Over the past 12 months Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) has been working with the Northern Cape and Gauteng provincial governments to develop catalytic green H2 projects that will underpin provincial green H2 strategies with the Northern Cape being the production hub and Gauteng being the domestic demand hub.”

The Prieska Power Reserve project, situated in the Siyathemba Local Municipality, is a first of its kind green hydrogen and ammonia project.

The first phase of the project is expected to start production in 2025. This phase is expected to produce 72 000 tonnes of green ammonia a year with a green hydrogen content of 12 900 tonnes.

Valued at R9.7 billion, the reserve is a catalytic project within the South African hydrogen ecosystem and will contribute not only to the development of the industry, but also to the economic recovery and growth of the country.

The expansion of the project to over 500 000 tonnes of green ammonia by 2030 is expected to further contribute to catapulting South Africa into a global leader within the global green hydrogen market.

In full recognition of the national significance and importance of this project, Prieska Power Reserve has been identified as Strategic Infrastructure Project (SIP) in the Northern Cape’s Green Hydrogen Strategy and the project has undergone the process of achieving classification as a SIP, currently awaiting gazetting.

The project  aims to be a socio-economic contributor through the creation of jobs – current and jobs of the future, the creation of black and female industrialists within the space, small business development and local content procuring and skill development. –