German project developer Conjuncta has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Mauritania, Egypt’s Infinity Power and UAE-based Masdar to develop a $34bn green hydrogen plant near the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott.
The project, which will be developed over four phases, is expected to have an electrolyser capacity of up to 10 gigawatts (GW). Upon completion, this will make the plant capable of producing up to eight million tons of green hydrogen or other non-biological renewable fuels per year. The first phase will have 400 megawatts of capacity and is expected to be operational by 2028.
Mauritania has been catapulted into the spotlight through various other green hydrogen agreements, including with Australia’s CWP Global, which signed an MoU to produce green hydrogen through a 30GW wind and solar project worth $40bn.
Analysts have tempered the green hydrogen hype in Mauritania and elsewhere by stressing that there is not a single commercial-scale green hydrogen plant in operation around the world. fDi Markets data shows that in 2022 more than $175bn was pledged globally to green hydrogen and other emerging clean technologies projects.
Stellantis plans first production site in South Africa
Global automotive giant Stellantis had signed an MoU with South Africa to develop its first manufacturing facility in the country as part of plans to regionalise its production across the Middle East and Africa.
The plant will be set up in a South African special economic zone (SEZ), with the aim to complete the project by 2025, according to a statement released this week (March 8). Stellantis, which currently has nine factories in the Middle East and Africa region, did not specify which free zone they plan to set up the new plant.
The Amsterdam-based carmaker, which manufactures a range of brands including Fiat, Chrysler and Peugeot, plans to sell one million vehicles in the Middle East and Africa by 2030 with “70% regional production autonomy” within the region, according to their statement.
ASML’s CEO warns about IP theft in China
Peter Wennick, the CEO of microchip machine maker ASML, has said that the company has had to shield itself from intellectual property (IP) theft more intensely than ever before, as China strives to develop its own homegrown semiconductor industry.
In an interview with the Financial Times this week, Mr Wennick said that increased efforts by the US to restrict exports of the most advanced semiconductors and chipmaking equipment to China has led the company to heighten its security efforts.
“Is it going to be easy [for China to develop its own chipmaking equipment]?”, Mr Wennick said to the FT. “Absolutely not. Do we have to be highly sensitised on knowhow leakage, on IP leakage? More than ever before.”
The Dutch government said this week that it would impose export restrictions on the “most advanced” semiconductor technology. This was the first public announcement of a deal struck by the Netherlands and Japan, with the US to limit sales of chips to China.
And finally, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on March 9 that it would invest up to €1.5bn in Turkey’s southeastern earthquake-hit region over the next two years. The set of earthquakes that struck Turkey and part of Syria has created widespread damage and led to more than 50,000 fatalities.