In a historic collaboration, the Eastern Cape (EC), along with the Northern and Western Cape, announced the decision to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), solidifying their commitment to establishing a conducive institutional framework and inter-provincial coordination to enhance localised renewable energy production.
This was revealed during the 2023 South African Green Hydrogen Summit (SAGHS), where the EC prominently featured as a key partner and an investment destination of choice for renewable energy, including green hydrogen.
Representing the Eastern Cape, Director General Mbulelo Sogoni signed the MoU with his counterparts from Northern and Western Cape during the second day of the Summit on Monday, 16 October 2023.
Speaking during the media briefing, MEC for Finance and Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mlungisi Mvoko, said the province offers a significant opportunity to its provincial partners, potential investors, industrialists, and green hydrogen users.
“It provides access to an enabling environment that ensures a swift path to the market, capitalising on the Eastern Cape’s operational special economic zones (SEZs), well-established harbour infrastructure, and abundant renewable energy resources to expedite commercial green hydrogen operations,” added MEC Mvoko.
To further harness the potential of its operational SEZs and harbour facilities, the Eastern Cape is actively championing the development and expansion of inter-provincial grid capacity for renewable energy. This strategic move is poised to bolster green hydrogen production and storage.
The province’s renowned SEZs are primed to provide the necessary infrastructure for the establishment and operation of production facilities. They allow access to large-scale renewable power generation capacity, ensuring an effective and efficient green hydrogen production process. They offer proximity to a skilled labour force within a regulatory framework dedicated to fostering a just energy transition. Notably, these zones serve as hubs for skill development and innovation, boasting access to innovation zones and cutting-edge research and testing facilities.
The Eastern Cape’s logistical and distribution capabilities enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of green hydrogen value chains within the region. These strategically located facilities ensure seamless access to shipping lanes and transportation nodes, guaranteeing safe and reliable connections to global markets, which are constantly on the rise.
One standout project underpinning the Eastern Cape’s commitment to green hydrogen is the R105 billion Hive Green Ammonia Project at the Coega SEZ, a project announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the South African Investment Conference earlier in 2023. This project underscores the province’s dedication to spearheading innovative green hydrogen initiatives.
The Eastern Cape attributes great significance to its participation in the 2023 South African Green Hydrogen Summit. This unique gathering serves as a platform for key national and international stakeholders in the green hydrogen industry to converge. Furthermore, in alignment with their MoU, the Summit provides a forum for the three Cape provinces to collaborate on the development of a green hydrogen corridor of international significance.