Developing a new synthetic fuels industry in Namibia is not just an opportunity to fight climate change but indeed offers an unparalleled opportunity for green industrialization. This was President Hage Geingob's emphasis when he addressed the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in Geneva.

President Geingob outlined Namibia's ambitions to mobilise sustainable climate financing to combat climate change and turn around its economic fortunes. One such ambition is the development of large-scale green hydrogen projects, which he says would provide the world with the clean molecules needed to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors.

"One such pioneering example is the Oshivela project by HyIron, which plans to use Namibian-produced green hydrogen to deliver the first industrial production of iron at net zero emissions. During the first phase of the project in 2024, an annual output of 15,000 metric tonnes of direct reduced iron is planned. Oshivela will be one of the biggest primary production sites of green iron worldwide and is expected to avoid 27,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, equivalent to 50% of the carbon dioxide emissions of Namibia's entire power industry today."

Namibia has also seen interest from a number of countries as off-takers of green hydrogen and ammonia. President Geingob says the development of green shipping corridors with Denmark-based Mærsk McKinney Møller Centre for Zero Carbon Shipping is on track, while another with Belgium's CMB Tech is in the works.

"We are working with Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB-Tech), a shipping company from Belgium, with plans to build a clean ammonia bunkering facility in Walvis Bay at a cost of more than €2.2 billion in partnership with Namibia's own Olthaver and List Company. On September 28, 2023, this partnership named Cleanergy is expected to reveal plans to construct their first Namibian green hydrogen multi-modal service station."

As more UN member states race against time to meet the goals of clean energy transition, the Namibian Head of State reminded the Assembly of their pledges made at the Paris Climate Summit in 2015.

The agreement calls for developed nations to provide financial and technological support to enable developing countries to shift to cleaner energy sources without hampering development.

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Blanche Goreses