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Saudi company to develop green hydrogen in South Africa

The kingdom has shown a particularly strong interest in both South Africa and green hydrogen in general this year.
Hydrogen tank.

A Saudi company pledged today to help develop green hydrogen in South Africa. 

ACWA Power and South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding on the “development” of green hydrogen in the country. The memo has a potential value of $10 billion, ACWA Power said in a press release. 

What is it: Green hydrogen refers to hydrogen that is produced via renewable energy, such as solar or wind power. Hydrogen can be used for energy when it is separated from water using electricity. 

Why it matters: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Saudi Arabia this month and signed $15 billion worth of agreements with the kingdom. These included pledges to work together on hydrogen-related projects. 

Saudi Arabia is pursuing better ties with sub-Saharan African countries, in part to counter Iran’s growing influence on the continent. This strategy includes energy-related projects. Earlier this month, the Saudi Fund for Development signed a financing deal for solar-powered street lights in the Central African Republic. 

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia, like other countries in the Middle East in North Africa, is interested in developing hydrogen as an energy source. In August, the Saudi company Alfanar signed a deal to develop a green hydrogen facility in Egypt. 

The United Arab Emirates and Morocco are also particularly interested in hydrogen power. 

Green hydrogen has the potential to produce energy with reduced carbon emissions, since it is made via renewable energy. 

Know more: ACWA Power also agreed in September to build a water desalination plant in Senegal. 

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