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Namibia’s diverse energy path

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With an abundance of solar and wind resources, Namibia’s plans to expand power generation capacity are expected to see a share of 60% renewables by 2030. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Namibia’s diverse energy path

Boasting a diverse mix of energy sources, Namibia has become a premier destination for investors in Africa.

With an abundance of solar and wind resources, Namibia’s plans to expand power generation capacity are expected to see a share of 60% renewables by 2030.

Within this timeframe, Namibia aims to install a total of 510MW of grid-connected renewable energy capacity.

This ambitious goal will be driven through competitive tenders from local and international Independent Power Producers (IPPs) that will be subject to PPAs with Namibia’s state-owned power utility NamPower and regional energy distributors.

Last December, the government launched a tender inviting consultants to provide services for renewable energy projects spanning solar PV, wind, and battery energy storage systems (BESS).

Services will include environmental and social impact assessments and site studies for several upcoming solar PV and BESS projects.

Green hydrogen production in Namibia’s diverse energy path

In May 2023, Namibia commissioned sub-Saharan Africa’s largest green hydrogen production plant.

The USD10-billion project – led by green hydrogen development company Hyphen Hydrogen Energy – will be capable of producing 300,000 tons of green hydrogen and ammonia and will feature wind and solar plants with a combined capacity of 7 GW.

This year, the country is expected to complete development of a 5 MW pilot plant, which will act as a testing facility for hydrogen production and handling.

Hyphen Hydrogen Energy also signed a deal with finance vehicle SGD Namibia One Fund in December 2022 to secure €23-million in capital, while collaborating with Japan’s ITOCHU Corporation to enhance the company’s technical capabilities for successful project deployment.

With production costs estimated as low as USD2 per kilogram, Namibia’s green hydrogen is poised to become the cheapest in the world, making the country an attractive partner for energy-hungry countries in the midst of the energy transition.

As a result, Namibia could boost its GDP by USD15-20-billion per year, create over 100,000 domestic jobs, export 14 GW of clean power to the Southern African Power Pool and reduce GHG emissions by 45-60 million tons of CO2 per year by 2040.

The country’s ambition to become a global hub for green hydrogen development – on the back of abundant, co-located solar and wind resources – is poised to support value-added industrialisation, economic transformation, and regional integration by stimulating exports to international markets.

A hotspot for hydrocarbons

A quintet of major oil discoveries in Namibia’s Orange Basin have placed the country’s upstream oil and gas sector on the precipice of transformation.

The Graff-1, La-Rona-1, Jonker-1X, Lesedi-1X and Venus-1 discoveries were made between 2021 and 2023 through a series of exploration campaigns led by supermajors Shell and TotalEnergies and state-owned QatarEnergy.

Last month, TotalEnergies announced its continued exploration in the offshore Orange Basin, with appraisal drilling being conducted south and north-west of the Venus-1 discovery.

These efforts have already resulted in the company intersecting hydrocarbon bearing intervals in the Mangetti-1X prospect, drilled 35km from the Venus-1 discovery.

With production expected to start in 2026, the Kudu Conventional Gas Field – one of Namibia’s most prolific assets – is currently in its Front-End-Engineering-Design (FEED) stage and will be operated by oil and gas company BW Energy.

Home to nearly 600 billion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, the development is expected to reach a peak production of 64 million cubic feet per day.

Exemplifying the country’s integrated energy strategy, this exploration blitz has the potential to make Namibia one of Africa’s major oil and gas producers, while a wave of new seismic activity is poised to attract new independent and junior explorers to its frontier market.

Continued onshore drilling

In addition to the Orange Basin, Namibia’s onshore Kavango Basin is thought to hold more than 30 billion barrels of crude oil.

Last November, exploration and production company ReconAfrica and its partner the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), gained approval for the second renewal exploration period on PEL 73 in the basin, running from January 2024 to January 2026.

During this period, ReconAfrica will lead drilling to test the Damara Fold Belt and oil-prone rift plays in the basin.

Meanwhile, oil and gas company 88 Energy signed a farm-in agreement with Monitor Exploration last November to earn up to a 45% non-operated working interest on the onshore PEL 93 in the Owambo Basin.

The agreement will involve the acquisition of approximately 200-line-kilometers of low-impact 2D seismic data in mid-2024, along with a potential initial exploration well targeting the Damara gas play in 2025.

These developments and more will be unpacked at the Invest in African Energy (IAE) forum (https://apo-opa.co/49GYDOy) in Paris, where a Namibian spotlight session establishes Namibia as the premier destination for diversified energy investments.

Organized by Energy Capital & Power, IAE 2024 is an exclusive forum designed to facilitate investment between African energy markets and global investors. Taking place May 14-15, 2024 in Paris, the event offers delegates two days of intensive engagement with industry experts, project developers, investors and policymakers. For more information, please visit www.Invest-Africa-Energy.com. To sponsor or participate as a delegate, please contact sales@energycapitalpower.com.

Source: Energy Capital and Power

Namibia’s diverse energy path

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Namibia’s diverse energy path

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