South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday hosted visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and launched an “important collaboration” that involves the development of green technologies.
“Today we are launching an important collaboration between the Federal Republic of Germany and Sasol around the development of green technologies,” said Ramaphosa during the visit to the Sasol headquarters in Sandton, Johannesburg, with the German Chancellor.
“The Catalyst Research for Sustainable Kerosene project focuses on the development of catalysts for green jet fuel.
“This is one of several areas of cooperation between companies, universities, and government agencies on the technology that will reshape our economies.”
Ramaphosa said South Africa was determined to contribute to this effort.
“Sasol together with the Industrial Development Corporation and the Northern Cape Government is developing a project in Boegoebaai to use our excellent solar and wind resources to export green hydrogen at a massive scale,” explained Ramaphosa.
“This includes the opportunity to supply green hydrogen to the European Union, which is looking to import 10 million tons a year by 2030.”
The SA president said the Boegoebaai project presents an excellent opportunity for South Africa and Germany to cooperate in the fields of green hydrogen development, energy security, job creation, just transition, and climate action.
The longstanding cooperation between South Africa and Germany on climate issues will be further deepened through the Just Energy Transition Partnership between South Africa, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the US, and the European Union.
The partnership was announced at COP26 late last year.
Sasol is a major contributor to South Africa’s emission reduction ambitions.
The company has committed to a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and to achieving net zero by 2050.
At the Third South Africa Investment Conference in 2020 Sasol pledged over R5 billion to upgrade its operations in Secunda to meet Clean Fuel II quality products.
“A just energy transition is a process that takes place over decades,” said Ramaphosa.
“Energy security must be ensured, but there should be equal emphasis on inclusive growth, job creation and poverty reduction.
“We are grateful that this is one of the issues that was underscored in our discussions earlier today.
“The success of the transition rests on the development of new technologies, and their deployment at scale, supported by green funding and grant mechanisms within a favourable regulatory and policy framework.”
Ramaphosa said the South African government was committed to continuing to work with the German government to enable this.
“In Germany, we have a dependable, consistent and reliable partner,” said Ramaphosa.
“In conclusion I want to congratulate Sasol once more for the bold steps it is taking towards decarbonisation, through CARE-O-SENE and other projects.
“The development of the green hydrogen economy is a national economic priority for a country such as ours with the world’s largest platinum reserves.
“It is our wish that, strengthened by this partnership with the Federal Republic of Germany, Sasol will continue to blaze a trail in our onward march towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy and a sustainable and inclusive future.”