Namibia Debuts Africa’s First Hydrogen-Powered Ship Amid Global Push for Greener Ports

May 9, 2024
1 min read
The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group embodies the enduring spirit of Namibia.
The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group embodies the enduring spirit of Namibia. With a rich tapestry woven from over 100 years of history, we stand proud as Namibia’s largest privately held group of companies, engaging over 5400 dedicated employees across a diverse array of sectors. Photo Source: CMB Tech

Africa is no more a black continent. This is seen in the latest development in building Africa’s first hydrogen-powered vessel. A hydrogen-fueled multifunctional port utility vessel (MPHUV) has been planned by Cleanenergy Solutions Namibia, a joint venture (JV) between cleantech maritime group CMB-TECH and Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, the Port Of Antwerp-Bruges, and Namport. The MPHUV is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2024.

The facility at Walvis Bay uses only solar energy for the on-site production of green hydrogen. It will be used for hydrogen-powered trucks, port equipment, railway applications, and small ships. The design of MPHUV will enable the integration of different equipment needed for a range of port operations. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions during operations.

The Port of Walvis Bay and Namport will operate the ship. The partners noted, “The port’s involvement will provide invaluable insights into the vessel’s specifications during development and refine the concept based on operational experience and feedback from users once it is commissioned.”

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The companies unveiled plans for the development of the new vessel during an event in Walvis Bay, Namibia. The Cleanenergy Green Hydrogen site includes a hydrogen refueling station and a production plant. The CGH (Cleanenergy Green Hydrogen) Site will also include an on-site Hydrogen Academy.

Sven Thieme, Executive Chairman of the O&L Group said, “With this CGH Site, we are channeling over a century’s worth of innovation to ignite a revolution in renewable energy. This initiative is more than a project, it’s a testament to our relentless drive for excellence, our commitment to sustainability, and our unwavering belief in partnership. Harnessing the sun’s infinite energy, we are laying down the roots for a greener future, turning our bold vision into an aspiring reality.”

The MPHUV project is built following the success of the collaboration between CMB. TECH and Port of Antwerp-Bruges. This is demonstrated by the launch of the Hydrotug and the world’s first multimodal hydrogen refueling station in the port of Antwerp. It is to be mentioned here that Hydrotug, the world’s first hydrogen-powered tugboat, was launched in December last year. The tug was ordered by the Port of Antwerp-Bruges in 2019 as part of its strategy of becoming a climate-neutral Port by 2050.

Namibians will be jointly upskilled on hydrogen and its diverse economic potential by the Cleanenergy Solutions Team, suppliers, customers as well as Namibian and European Universities. The CMB.TECH-led JV has become a pioneer to make Africa a first hydrogen-powered vessel.

Rahul Somvanshi

Rahul, possessing a profound background in the creative industry, illuminates the unspoken, often confronting revelations and unpleasant subjects, navigating their complexities with a discerning eye. He perpetually questions, explores, and unveils the multifaceted impacts of change and transformation in our global landscape. As an experienced filmmaker and writer, he intricately delves into the realms of sustainability, design, flora and fauna, health, science and technology, mobility, and space, ceaselessly investigating the practical applications and transformative potentials of burgeoning developments.

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