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SSC to build massive wind farm, green hydrogen production plant

Article Republished By Javier Troconis

Diversified minerals and investment group Siyakhula Sonke Empowerment Corporation (SSC Group) has confirmed it is in prefeasibility stage and finalising an environment risk assessment on a 117 MW wind farm project, which will power a 69 MW electrolysis production plant, in Jeffreys Bay, in the Eastern Cape.

The electrolysis plant will have a green hydrogen production capacity of about 9.8 t/y.

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SSC Group, through its SSC Energy Corporation division established in 2020, has secured LNG Hub as an offtake and logistics partner. LNG Hub was established in 2021 as a specialist in sourcing, distributing and supplying small-scale LNG.

This will make LNG Hub’s hydrogen arm, H2 Hub, the first hydrogen gas trading company in South Africa, particularly green hydrogen.

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SSC says its green hydrogen pricing will be competitive with bulk LNG delivered prices.

Although the overall project could be a first of its kind in South Africa, it joins ten other projects across the world, including the Lüderitz project, in Namibia.

The project marks the first of several renewable energy projects that SSC Energy intends to embark on.

SSC Group CFO Martin Schermers tells Engineering News & Mining Weekly the company expects to start with more permitting processes early in 2023. He envisions construction and commissioning to be complete within 12 months after the group has received the required permitting on the project.

SSC Energy aims to start with hydrogen production by January 2025.

SSC Energy head Dr Andries van der Linde says developments towards the production of green hydrogen are taking place all over the world, especially since it helps to meet energy demand and contribute to climate action goals.

However, he warns that splitting molecules, as is the case with hydrogen production, is extremely energy intensive and often inefficient. For example, should you commence with solar photovoltaic, which has a typical efficiency of approximately 20%, the eventual energy output from a hydrogen-driven device could be as low as 8% of the initial renewable energy source.

Nonetheless, the SSC Energy team has been developing innovative engineering solutions to achieve a better energy balance, while taking its project’s coexistence with nature into consideration.

To this end, SSC Group will establish an information centre on the same property as its project – Project Rhino – where visitors can learn about environmental issues and particularly the extinction of rhinos owing to poaching for the illegal horn trade.

SSC Group believes more attention can be brought to these kinds of important environmental issues by combining a renewable energy project with the Kouga Rhino Sanctuary.

With this approach, the group aims to have a wider post construction impact than is normally the case, which would also include additional economic benefits of green hydrogen production.

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