The development of complementary engines of growth through the accumulation of new productive capacities and know-how, in strategic sectors, is vital to ensure the growing complexity of Namibia’s economic structure. Moreover, the development of complementary engines is necessary to cushion the Namibian economy from unusual and external risk factors. A preliminary analysis by the World Bank of the green hydrogen market and levelized cost of hydrogen (LCOH) shows Namibia could produce highly competitive green ammonia . However, with little national demand, exports will be key to the green hydrogen strategy. The global ammonia market today is 180 million metric tonnes (Mt) driven by fertilizers and mining explosives production. The global market is expected to grow to over 500 Mt by 2050 driven by maritime shipping and power systems decarbonization, especially by major developed economies with netzero policies for 2050. In order to position the country to compete in a global market for green ammonia, the Government will lead the development of a sector that is designed to achieve a globally competitive price and sufficient infrastructure for maritime export. With its abundant, world-class renewable energy resources and increasing demand for green hydrogen worldwide, Namibia could be an early entrant in this new market. Countries such as Australia, Chile, Middle Eastern countries, Morocco, New Zealand and Norway are beginning to pursue Giga-Watt (GW) scale investments on the basis of national green hydrogen strategies.
In these early stages of market development, the Government will focus efforts on achieving largescale, low-cost renewable energy (RE) development and designing models for sustainably maximizing fiscal revenue and local development in RE investments and green ammonia production. The Government will put in place a competitive and transparent process, designed to maximize the national benefits and lay the foundation for long-term participation in a growing green hydrogen and ammonia market. Preliminary market estimates note that at scale the //Kharas Region stands to absorb potential FDI of US$6 billion, produce 2 million tonnes of Ammonia, generate in excess of $800 million in revenue p.a. and house generation assets of 5GW with the capability to produce power at less than 3 US cents/kWh. Such an investment would be transformative not only for the Southern Region of Namibia but for the country as a whole and while the probability of it coming to fruition still requires various feasibility studies to be conducted, the significance of the opportunity warrants a coordinated and focused effort to unlock.