The ceremony, which took place at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront on 12 June, featured a series of presentations and an interactive and an educational exhibition that served to demonstrate the development of renewable energies, green hydrogen, and an intelligent energy mix as a solution to South Africa’s ongoing energy transition.
“The Energy Observer is a very important boat that mixes all kinds of energy – including hydrogen, solar, and wind – and this project is something that is very important in terms of what is possible and what the future will be like. ” Hon. Minister Dr. Nzimande stated.
The opening presentation featured the participation of Victorien Erussard, Captain and Founder of Energy Observer; David Martinon, Ambassador of France Designate to South Africa; Kadri Nassiep, Executive Director of Energy, City of Cape Town; Dr. Thembakazi Mali, Senior Vice President for Research and Technology, Sasol; Ronnie Chalmers, Vice President for Africa, the Middle East and India, Air Liquide; and Noriyuki Tanaka, Project General Manager for Africa, Toyota.
“We are proud to support Energy Observer in its mission to promote renewable energy development,” stated Dr. Mali.
Ambassador Martinon noted that the arrival of the Energy Observer to South Africa – the first vessel in the world capable of producing decarbonized hydrogen on board from sea water and using an energy mix relying on renewable energies – “points to France’s commitment on the African continent in advancing a durable energy transition.”
Currently in the midst of an energy crisis, South Africa is poised to benefit from the development of hydrogen and renewable energy technologies. As such, the country has sought to revamp its energy sector through its Hydrogen Society Roadmap and incentivize the development of renewable energies and green hydrogen to decarbonize carbon-intensive industries.
“Air Liquide is actively supporting the development of renewable energies, for the benefit of the South African electrical power system and the fight against global warming. This will also contribute to the South African social transformation and a just transition, and more generally to South Africa’s economy and environment,” Chalmers stated.
Tanaka highlighted that Toyota aims to be a leading partner in the creation of a H2 society under the philosophy of producing happiness for Africa in the spirit of ‘With Africa, For Africa.’
“Energy Observer is one of these important partners for Toyota to demonstrate the capability and potential of its fuel cell system,” concluded Tanaka.
Under the theme of promoting an interconnection between energy, economic development, and social justice, the Energy Observer will continue its stopover program when it leaves Cape Town on 30 June. The vessel’s odyssey will enable schoolchildren, academics, associations, and the general public to discover solutions that offer a positive perspective on the energy transition.