The government of Djibouti has signed a memorandum of understanding with developer CWP Global to move forward with a 10GW renewable energy and green hydrogen project in the small North African state.

The unnamed project — which will include cable networks, pipelines, port loading facilities and drinking water for local communities — will produce green ammonia for export, and provide renewable energy to the nation, where only 62% of the population have access to electricity, according to the World Bank.

“Once implemented, this project will allow our country to significantly increase its supply of renewable energy, to diversify its energy sources, to strengthen its energy security with the goal of achieving a 100% electrification rate on the horizon by 2035 and create economic opportunities arising from development of the high value added and potential industry of hydrogen and green ammonia,” said the government in a statement.

The 10GW figure refers to the estimated capacity of wind and solar energy that would be built, CWP told Recharge's sister publication Hydrogen Insight. The size of the electrolyser — which uses electricity to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen — has not yet been decided.

“The project will make a major contribution to realise the African nation’s aspirations for cleaner and more secure energy supplies, create green jobs and value-added industries, and generate exports to fast-emerging markets for low-carbon fuels and industrial projects,” said US-based CWP.

CWP Global chairman Mark Crandall said that the “pioneering” project would also “further develop local and regional agriculture”.

The Djibouti government added: “It should be noted that the Horn of Africa, with Djibouti at its head, has the potential to become a major player in Power to X thanks to its geographical location [in the Red Sea, close to the Suez Canal] on one of the busiest trade routes in the world. Djibouti has exceptional solar and wind resources, abundant available land and easy access to the sea, all essential for producing green hydrogen and ammonia at competitive costs.

“A project of this strategic scale in the Horn of Africa will promote socio-economic development of East African countries and their regional economic integration, thereby boosting exports and allowing economic diversification.”

In July, Australian green hydrogen developer Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) signed a framework agreement with the government of Djibouti that allowed it to “conduct studies with a view to developing green hydrogen production”.

“Depending on the outcome of FFI’s studies, the parties may then negotiate the terms on an Investment Agreement to develop and construct green hydrogen production facilities on that land,” FFI said at the time.

CWP is developing six other “ultra-large-scale” green hydrogen projects around the world (sizes below are for the wind and solar energy powering each project, rather than the electrolysers):

  • The Western Green Energy Hub (50GW) in Western Australia
  • Southern Cone Energy (20-30GW) in Argentina and Chile
  • The Australian Renewable Energy Hub (26GW) in Western Australia – formerly known as the Asian Renewable Energy Hub. CWP owns 17.8% of this project.
  • Aman (30GW) in Mauritania
  • Amun (15GW) in Morocco
  • Tumoneni (5GW) in Namibia

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