South African President Mr Cyril Ramaphosa announced establishing a Platinum Valley and bringing various hydrogen applications to develop an integrated hydrogen ecosystem in the country.
He made his announcement on the parliament floor during his speech to the debate on the State of the Nation Address, Cape Town, South Africa.
The President also mentioned that for more than a decade, the South African government has been working with various partners, including the private sector and academia, for the development of hydrogen fuel cell and lithium battery storage technologies.
He said that this work serves two important developmental objectives. One it offers the possibility of a new, renewable source of energy. The second one is establishing new uses and new markets for the platinum group metals (PGM) that are abundant in our country.
South Africa is the leading suppliers of platinum– a key raw material used for making electrolysers. Refined production of platinum in South Africa is anticipated to reach around 4,092 koz this year, according to the latest quarterly report published by World Platinum Investment Council.
Mr Ramaphosa, said, “Through its Hydrogen South Africa Strategy, government and its partners have successfully deployed hydrogen fuel cells to provide electricity in schools and to field hospitals established as part of the country’s COVID-19 response.”
He added, “Now, after a decade of investment, we are ready to move from research and development to manufacturing and commercialisation.”
President Ramaphosa announced, “We are establishing a Platinum Valley as an industrial cluster bringing various hydrogen applications in the country together to form an integrated hydrogen ecosystem.”
He stressed that this initiative will identify concrete project opportunities for kick-starting hydrogen cell manufacturing in promising hubs.