Every Friday, SAfm’s radio anchor Sakina Kamwendo speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly. Reported here is this Friday’s At the Coalface transcript:
Kamwendo: A new R100-billion green hydrogen project in the Eastern Cape has been afforded special project status.
Creamer: This R100-billion green hydrogen and green ammonia project has been given a special integrated project status by being declared a strategic integrated project or a SIP project, which means that it is prioritised. It is afforded expedited pathways and shorter timeframes. This just shows you how quickly green hydrogen is coming into market favour. Green hydrogen, in this case, is going to be turned into green ammonia and then it will be exported from the Coega port in the Eastern Cape, with the likely destination being Japan and other countries in Asia. Interestingly, the vessels that will ship the green ammonia will probably also be fuelled by green ammonia.
That is what is happening now. Fuel has to be clean and the ships have to go for clean fuel and green ammonia is one of those green fuels that shipping companies worldwide are targeting. Isn't it fantastic that this project is being led by Thulani Gcabashe, who we know from Eskom. He is a former Eskom CEO, who in 2008 went into solar power and renewables. Renewables will play a massive part in this green hydrogen project in the Eastern Cape, because they need renewable energy from the sun and the wind to produce the green hydrogen and then the green ammonia. The desalinated water needed will be sourced from Cerebos, which is a big salt producer in the area. So, everything is falling into place for this Hive Hydrogen South Africa project, which is going ahead as a SIP, a strategic integrated project.
Kamwendo: Ekurhuleni received a boost this week with the announcement that Scaw Metals is to get a R3-billion capital injection.
Creamer: Scaw Metals, partly owned by the Industrial Development Corporation and therefore the State, is expanding its capacity to produce flat steel, for which there is a domestic and international offtake. They will be investing R3-billion in this project. Scaw Metals, which is a long established operation, will be rejuvenated with the help of the Italian company Danieli, which is very keen to get into this sort of metal mill, because they think this is going to be the kind of operation that the changing world will be turning to. An additional 300 jobs will be created, adding to the 5 000 people already employed by Barnes Group, which is developing the Scaw project.
The last big flat steel investment was Saldanha Steel project in the 1990s. Now the Barnes Group will use a lot of the flat steel itself, because this group includes Barnes Tubing in Islando and Hall Longmore in Wadeville, where the metal will be used for piping. What has helped this project the price preference system around scrap metal, because Scaw requires scrap metal. They now have a situation where the tax on the export of scrap metal is assisting the economic viability of the project and enables local industry to become part of the circular economy, which is being promoted worldwide and which favours local production by keeping recycled material within the borders of the country where it arises.
Kamwendo: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly.