Govt negotiates with oil firms to set up shop at Luderitz

Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo says the government is in talks with Total Energies and Shell, who recently discovered oil off the coast of Namibia, to base their operations at Luderitz and not Walvis Bay.

Alweendo was responding to questions in Parliament from Popular Democratic Movement’s MP Nico Smit on Thursday, saying the government’s plan will ensure an economic boom at Luderitz and the //Kharas Region.

“We are negotiating with the two oil companies, Shell and TotalEnergies, to ensure that their operations are conducted from Luderitz and not Walvis Bay,” he said.

This comes amid a raft of allegations being levelled against government’s position in the ongoing negotiations with the Hyphen Hydrogen Energy, its preferred bidder to construct the country’s initial green hydrogen project, including an agreement to construct staff housing at Luderitz and the placement of a 42-year mining exploration licence moratorium.

“The government has not agreed to such, nor is the government contemplating to construct houses for any of the employees of the envisioned company. While speaking about Luderitz, it is important to note that the //Kharas Region in general and Luderitz in particular, is going to be one of the fast-growing regions. This is not only because of the GH2 but also because of the recent oil discovery. It goes without saying, housing will become an important element that must go in hand with the economic development that will take place in the region in the near future,” he said.

Alweendo also denied allegations that the government had also agreed to a moratorium on the issuing of mining exploration in the country’s coastal areas nor had it concluded its negotiations with Hyphen over its expected equity in the project.

“No such promise has been made to Hyphen. It is true the government is negotiating an equity stake with the preferred bidder. The amount and conditions attached to the envisaged equity is yet to be decided and various options are being considered in terms of appropriate structure to house this national asset,” the Minister said.

Hyphen in August expressed optimism that its planned N$170 billion project will be signed off by the Namibian government before the year ends.

The signing of the Implementation Agreement will trigger the commencement of the front-end engineering and design phase in the development of the project, which will be constructed over two phases with the eventual goal of producing 350,000 t/y of green hydrogen from 5GW to 6GW of renewable generation capacity and a 3GW electrolyser.


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Last modified on Thursday, 03 November 2022 21:53

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