New mega-projects planned for South Africa’s next ‘gold rush’

 ·29 Nov 2022

President Cyril Ramaphosa, alongside the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, has initiated South Africa’s inaugural Green Hydrogen Summit outlining some of the country’s future plans.

Minister of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille said that South Africa has a long history with green hydrogen and several inherent advantages that could make it a leading player in the anticipated green hydrogen economy.

“More needs to be done to market our ambitions and appetite to be a world-class green hydrogen production hub to the rest of the world relative to our competitors such as Chile, Australia and the Middle East,” said De Lille.

As such, the country must secure the degree of investments required to enable South Africa’s green hydrogen potential, she said.

Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) has amassed a pipeline of R300 billion for funding green hydrogen projects in the country. De Lille added that despite this, more needs to be done for future projects to reach financial close.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that in light of the latest Just Energy Transition Investment Plan to try and move away from coal-reliant energy supplies – South Africa still needs $98 billion over the next five years to enable the transition.

“Green hydrogen is identified in the Investment Plan as one of the four big frontiers’ of a just energy transition, indicating that it has huge growth and investment potential,” said Ramaphosa.

“Globally, the demand for green hydrogen and green hydrogen-based products, such as ammonia and synthetic jet fuels, is rising significantly. This presents a unique opportunity for South Africa to link its mineral endowment with its renewable energy endowment to drive industrialisation.”

Green hydrogen has garnered a lot of attention as a potential future fuel, and many people are betting that it will become quite popular in the years to come.

Precedence Research projects that the global market for green hydrogen will increase at a CAGR of 54% from 2021 to 2030, reaching $89 billion by that time.

The Green Hydrogen National Program (GHNP) consists of 19 projects, with more expected. According to De Lille, Green Hydrogen Programme projects will begin as soon as possible, after they are gazetted.

Northern Cape

  • The Prieska Power Reserve
  • The Ubuntu Green Energy Hydrogen Project
  • Boegoebaai Green Hydrogen Development
  • Upilanga Solar and Green H2 Park

Western Cape

  • Atlanthia Green Hydrogen

Free State

  • Sasolburg Green Hydrogen 60M


  • SASOL HySHiFT (Secunda)

Eastern Cape

  • HIVE Ammonia

Additional projects

Additional projects include those that fall under the Hydrogen Valley Programme of Anglo-American and their joint venture partners. These projects are waiting on more information to start development.

Western Cape

  • Mainstream Renewable Energy Hydrogen
  • AMSA Saldanha Steel Hydrogen
  • Saldanha bay Green Hydrogen Project
  • Cape Stack

Northern Cape

  • Enertrag Postmasburg Project (Ammonia)


  • HDF Energy Renewable Energy, IPM 1

Eastern Cape

  • Enertrag Indigen Project, (e-methanol)


  • Isondo Fuel Cell MEAs Manufacturing
  • Isondo / NCP Vehicles

Free State

  • Project Phoenix fuel cell manufacturing

Catalytic start

The minister said that the Prieska Power Reserve (PPR) Project will be a catalytic project that will begin producing green hydrogen and ammonia in 2026 by combining high-yielding renewable solar and wind energy.

She said that this project would create 10,500  jobs both during construction and operation.

One of the ways government plans to fast-track these projects is to gazette them as Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs). If gazetted in this fashion, there are prescribed shorter time frames for processes relating to the implementation of strategic integrated projects.

“This means that all processes relating to the implementation of SIPs, including processes relating to any application for any approval, authorisation, licence, permission or exemption and processes relating to any consultation and participation now run concurrently instead of the usual process which is sequential,” said De Lille.

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