UK injects R4.6m grant to benefit Durban’s hydrogen economy


The British High Commission announced the allocation of the money which will be implemented through the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) under its UK Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions (UK Pact) programme.

The eThekwini Municipality’s Renewable Energy manager, Sbu Ntshalintshali, said the City’s regional hydrogen economy will include the establishment of hubs, export supply chain infrastructure, hydrogen precinct, cities and industrial agglomerations.

“Recent developments confirm that hydrogen will play an important role in the decarbonisation of the entire energy value chain,” he said.

Ntshalintshali said this highly strategic project is supported by the national government, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government and state-owned enterprises.

Unlike electricity, hydrogen can be transported and stored in large quantities over long periods, he said.

eThekwini will scale both blue and green hydrogen given the high concentration of industry in Durban.

The City said blue hydrogen will also support carbon capture and utilisation storage projects integrated to fossil fuels.

“This will ultimately position Durban and KZN as a major producer and exporter of hydrogen and other associated e-fuels,” it said.

British High Commissioner Nigel Casey said: “As host of COP 26 and a long-standing development, trade and investment partner, I am delighted that we are launching this range of projects aimed at supporting green, resilient and inclusive economic growth in South Africa.”

The municipality said the three selected projects will work to support the implementation of hydrogen economy, the uptake of oceans economy via offshore wind generation and the development of alternative clean fuels such as blue and green hydrogen, and the design of pathways to a just energy transition.

This will involve working closely with business and civil society to ensure this transition is equitable and leads to inclusive and sustainable livelihoods.

UK BEIS is supporting the development of a hydrogen valley project via the Department of Science and Innovation, working with the South African Institute of International Affairs on links between hydrogen sector on TVETs and now supporting eThekwini’s regional hydrogen economy.

*This story has been updated to correct an error made in the initial statement released by the eThekwini Municipality regarding the funding amount.

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