Closing Remarks by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul at the Green Hydrogen Summit, 30 November 2022 ,Century City Conference Centre, Cape Town

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Programme Director, Ms Nzinga Qunta
Distinguished guests
Members of the Media
Ladies and gentlemen

A number of key themes have emerged from the last 3 days of this summit. These are urgency, collaboration and leadership.

The first is of the need for urgency. Inherent in South Africa wanting to be a “green hydrogen investment destination of choice” is the understanding that capital and demand have other global regions that they are exploring for long terms partnerships for production and supply. When we talk about leveraging a first mover advantage it is about proving south Africa as a competitive, stable, reliable supplier. It is about proving the ability to develop and operate complex industrial infrastructure, it is about demonstrating the skill and understanding in putting these elements together and it’s about testing the regulatory framework from generation, to production, to transportation. So when we talk about urgency, we are not talking about the urgency to plan, we are talking about the urgency to do. To set-up the foundations from which projects can be developed, investment attracted, supply chains stimulated and most importantly, jobs being created for our people.

The second is the collaboration between the Northern Cape and the Western Cape on green hydrogen is significant. It links the renewable energy generation and mining hub of the Northern Cape and the industrial and commercial base of the Western Cape in a meaningful and complimentary way. This is demonstrated through the first of its kind Western SADC Green Hydrogen Corridor Heads of Agreement between the two provinces. The development of a green hydrogen economy is not only mutually beneficial to the development of both provinces but it also benefits the rest of the country and the rest of the Region too. A natural call to action from this conference is to formally bring in government to government green hydrogen collaboration agreements. The Northern Cape often speaks about the vast potential of the Boegoeberg se baai’s green hydrogen Special Economic Zone. Its masterplan has developed substantially and it is nearing the point of enabling public consultation around the development of 40 gigawatts of electrolyser capacity powered by approximately 80 gigawatts of renewable energy. This will be transformative for the area and the rest of the province. But what few people realise is that the Flagship Namibian project is only 20 kilometers as the crow flies, across the Orange River from Boegoeberg se Baai. So the development of joint pipeline and port infrastructure or the utilization of common infrastructure is clearly a low hanging fruit. It gives Regional projects an opportunity to evacuate their product to market, it gives the planned port project additional commodities to trade and most importantly it allows the development of industrial clusters that support and benefit from both flagship projects.

The third is the power of leadership. As we develop and curate this pipeline of Green Hydrogen Strategic Integrated Projects, lets us not forget that we are standing on the shoulders of the 15 years of research and innovation that has been led by the Department of Science and Innovation. We are standing on the shoulders of Sasol and its ability to produce 2.4 million tons of green hydrogen a year. But importantly we are being led by the Presidency through the Country Investment Strategy which has green hydrogen, impact investing and Special Economic Zones and 3 of the 5 Big Frontiers. Because of the multi-sectoral and multi-departmental nature of green hydrogen which touches Mineral Resources and Energy, Trade Industry and Competition, Science and Innovation, Public Enterprise, Transport, Higher Education, Labour and Public Works and Infrastructure, the ability of the Presidency to play a convening and coordinating role is key. This coordination is anchored on the Provinces playing a leading role in investment promotion and walking the path from pre-feasibility to financial close with prospective project developers. The Provinces are the sharp end of the stick and we look to take this journey of mutual benefit and collaboration forward to the benefit of all of our people.
Allow me to thank everyone for their valuable participation and contribution in making this Inaugural Green Hydrogen Summit a success.

Thank you

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