A British-German developer has been selected to build a 3GW green hydrogen project powered by 5GW of wind and solar energy in southern Namibia.

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The Namibian government issued a “notice of award” of its intention to appoint Hyphen Hydrogen Energy as the preferred bidder to develop the $9.4bn Southern Corridor Development Initiative Green Hydrogen project in the Tsau Khaeb national park.

Hyphen is a Windhoek-based joint venture between British Virgin Islands-registered investment holding company Nicholas Holdings and German renewables developer Enertrag.

The combination of strong winds and high solar irradiation in the park, which is also a key diamond-mining region, could produce some of the cheapest renewable H2 in the world. German science minister Anja Karliczek said in August — after signing a renewables/hydrogen partnership with Namibia— that green H2 produced in the southwest African nation would be cost-competitive with highly polluting grey hydrogen made from fossil fuels, at €1.50-2.00 ($1.73-2.30) per kilogram.

Hyphen won a government-hosted competitive tender to build the project, but will not officially be given the rights until it concludes a feasibility study and signs a construction contract with the government.

“The first phase, which is expected to enter production in 2026, will see the creation of 2GW of renewable electricity generation capacity to produce green hydrogen for conversion into green ammonia, at an estimated capital cost of US$4.4bn,” said Hyphen CEO Marco Raffinetti. “Further expansion phases in the late 2020s will expand combined renewable generation capacity to 5GW and 3GW of electrolyser capacity, increasing the combined total investment to US$9.4bn.

“The Tsau Khaeb national park is among the top five locations in the world for low-cost hydrogen production, benefiting from a combination of co-located onshore wind and solar resources near the sea and land export routes to market.”

He added: “We’re humbled by the enormity of the responsibility that comes with this award, but are confident that we can not only live up to, but exceed the expectations placed on us.”

Germany signed the €40m partnership deal with Namibia as part of a bid to secure supplies of green hydrogen, which the European nation believes will be cheaper to import than produce itself, particularly due to the lack of space in Germany to build the giga-scale projects required to reach the necessary scale of H2 production.