President Hage Geingob has asked Namibians to support the much-anticipated green hydrogen project in the Tsau ?Khaeb National Park, emphasising its potential to uplift southern Namibia.
Speaking during the signing of the feasibility and implementation agreement between government and Hyphen Hydrogen Energy here on Friday, Geingob said Namibians should allow the project to progress. He stressed that valuable lessons had been learned from local interferences during the construction of the Epupa Hydropower Scheme in the Kunene Region, which had the potential to improve the quality of life of impoverished communities.
“Let us not regret the undue interferences and leave the areas poor. Give us a chance to work on this project which is so promising. The Epupa hydropower dam could have changed the face of that area but because of interference from local people, that project died and therefore the area is still poor,” he said.
Geingob highlighted the prevalent poverty in the south of Namibia and said the green hydrogen project has the potential to develop and uplift the local communities’ livelihood, as well as Namibia at large.
“When we are not creating jobs, the government is accused. We are now taking steps to create jobs, so allow us to do that mandate. This is not a legacy programme as some of them are saying, I will be gone in a few months. It’s not my project, so give this beautiful idea a chance,” the president said.
At the same occasion, National Planning Commission Director General Obeth Kandjoze said the N.dollars 10 billion project will create employment for up to 15 000 people, including 3 000 permanent jobs. Ninety per cent of the jobs will be sourced locally, mostly targeting the youth.
He further noted that the project will source up to 30 per cent of its procurement of goods, services and materials during the construction and operational phases from local SMEs and business.
Kandjoze also noted that the project will contribute significantly to the Namibian economy through the payment of land rentals, royalties on project revenues, and taxes.
“The government also has an opportunity to be a co-investor in the project with the right to take up to a 24 per cent equity interest at cost,” he said.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency