CSIR Leading Green Hydrogen Project in South Africa's Northern Cape
Key Ideas
  • CSIR is spearheading a strategic environmental assessment for the ambitious green hydrogen project in South Africa's Northern Cape.
  • The project includes plans for a special economic zone, a new port at Boegoebaai, and other infrastructural developments.
  • The assessment aims to provide a decision-making framework for sustainable planning, emphasizing the potential of green hydrogen to replace fossil fuels in key sectors.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa is taking the lead in conducting a strategic environmental assessment for the Northern Cape's green hydrogen project. The ambitious plan involves establishing a special economic zone, constructing a new port at Boegoebaai, and implementing other infrastructural projects. The assessment will cover the proposed port, the adjacent special economic zone, and the broader Namakwa region, focusing on both biophysical and socio-economic aspects. Expert teams will evaluate aspects like ecology, biodiversity, sustainable port planning, and socio-economics related to the green hydrogen economy. Paul Lochner from CSIR highlighted the global interest in green hydrogen as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels, especially in challenging sectors like aviation and shipping. The goal is to generate green hydrogen for export and local consumption. The assessment intends to create a framework for sustainable development by identifying environmental sensitivities, strategic opportunities, and constraints. While the assessment is crucial, it does not replace the legal requirement for a project-level environmental impact assessment. CSIR, in collaboration with various organizations and stakeholders, aims to ensure science-based decision-making and knowledge sharing for sustainable development in the Northern Cape. This concerted effort signifies a step towards leveraging green hydrogen to meet climate commitments and drive sustainable economic growth in the region.

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