South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), formerly the Department of Science and Technology, has invited South African hydrogen fuel cell specialist Bambili Energy and other companies to participate in the South African Hydrogen Society Roadmap development process that commenced in June 2020 for a period of six to twelve months.
The Roadmap is seen as South Africa’s pathway towards its vision of integrating hydrogen within its economy, motivated by the benefits that would accrue as a result. The DSI, with the support of an interdepartmental committee, is embarking on a process towards the development of a South African Hydrogen Society Roadmap.
“As a valued key stakeholder, the Bambili Group’s contribution and participation is vital given the potential impact that the hydrogen economy could have on South Africa’s economic recovery post-COVID-19. In addition, the use of platinum group metals (PGMs) based value-added components in hydrogen and fuel cell technology has the potential to increase the demand for PGMs and local beneficiation,” said Phil Mjwara, Director-General of the DSI, in a letter to Executive Chairperson of Bambili Group Zanele Mavuso Mbatha.
During the DSI’s budget vote which took place on 24 July, Hon. Blade Nzimiande, Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation highlighted that the department was hard at work to ensure that it fully participates in the establishment of a Platinum Valley economic industrial project which will cover the Johannesburg-to-Durban corridor, the OR Tambo International Airport to King Shaka Airport.
“This special economic zone will contribute to energy security in the automotive, materials handling, mining, and electrification industries, while contributing to the beneficiation of platinum group metals,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the DSI is implementing the Cabinet-approved Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) strategy through the 15-year research, development, and innovation HySA Program, which is aimed at developing hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, with a focus on beneficiating South Africa’s platinum group metals (PGMs) resource base.
Bambili is focused on the beneficiation of South Africa’s PGMs through the development of the fuel cell industry in South Africa, as well as the development of a ‘hydrogen valley’ in the country. The company will be part of the Industry Reference Group that will actively engage with a leading consulting firm to provide guidance on accelerating the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell technologies in South Africa.