A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between global renewable energy group PNE AG (PNE), and energy trading company S.E.T. Select Energy GmbH (SET), both based in Germany. The offtake agreement will see SET purchase and distribute eFuels from PNE’s renewable-energy-powered Power-to-X (PtX) project on the West Coast of South Africa.
PNE has initiated the renewable energy-based PtX (or eFuels) project through its subsidiary WKN Windcurrent, based in Cape Town, South Africa.
The project, which aims to produce 500,000 tons of eFuels a year, will not be connected to the national power grid but powered exclusively by solar and wind sources along the West Coast of the Western Cape.
WKN Windcurrent’s local team comprises highly experienced development experts who, since 2011 have delivered wind and solar PV projects to the highest South African and German standards. The company is now also focusing on the development of PtX (or eFuels) solutions.
The decision to produce eFuels supports the implementation of the South African government’s strategy to develop a green hydrogen economy by harnessing South Africa’s abundant natural resources of sun and wind to generate renewable energy.
Mike Mangnall, MD of WKN Windcurrent, said, “The West Coast project is our second PtX initiative in South Africa and is currently in the pre-feasibility phase. The offtake and logistics of raw materials and products is a crucial enabler to the project, and we are excited to be working closely with a globally experienced company like SET in this regard.”
The water required as a feed component of the hydrolysis process will be sourced from a nearby desalination plant, which will form part of the project. Desalinated water oversupply scenarios are being investigated to support positive socio-economic benefits to the surrounding communities.
The MoU fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing between the partners and aims to determine the commercial viability of providing green eFuels. Partnering at this early stage in the project’s life cycle will further facilitate the longer-term sustainability and feasibility of the proposed project.
Markus Lesser, PNE’s Chief Executive Officer, comments on the signing of the memorandum of understanding: “We are looking forward to working with SET on this groundbreaking project. It shows once again that climate protection must be considered and managed globally. In addition, it is the second power-to-X project for us in South Africa and a further milestone in the implementation of our corporate strategy.” As a clean energy solutions provider, PNE stands for holistic solutions for clean energy. This is proven by combining wind and solar energy in conjunction with the production and further processing of green hydrogen”.
The Co-CEO of SET, York zu Dohna, added: ” Green energy supply is becoming increasingly global: the planned project in South Africa shows how the energy transition works and is interlinked across national borders and continents. South Africa as a location for renewable energies and export logistics represents an advantage that makes e-fuels available to both local and international customers. We are pleased to accompany PNE as a trading and logistics partner in this exciting project. As an energy trading company, we are predestined to also bring new energy sources economically and flexibly from the producer to the consumer.”
The MOU was signed on the 26th of July 2023 in Hamburg, Germany, by both CEOs.