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Uganda Bets on Green Hydrogen to Fertilize its Agricultural Future

by Grace Kisembo

Kampala, Uganda – In a significant move towards sustainable agriculture and self-sufficiency, Uganda is set to establish a green hydrogen-based fertilizer plant. This ambitious project, spearheaded by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) in collaboration with Industrial Promotion Services (IPS) and Westgass Internasjonal AS (Norway), aims to revolutionize the nation’s agricultural landscape.

“This initiative underscores our commitment to harnessing cutting-edge technology to empower our farmers and ensure long-term food security,” remarked Dr. Ruth Nankabirwa, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development. “By embracing green hydrogen, we not only aim to boost domestic fertilizer production but also pave the way for a more sustainable and climate-friendly agricultural sector.”

The plant, strategically located in Karuma, Kiryandongo District, will leverage its proximity to the 600MW Karuma Hydropower Plant. This ensures a reliable and clean energy source for the electrolysis process, which is fundamental for green hydrogen production. The green hydrogen will then be combined with nitrogen from the air to create green ammonia, a key ingredient in fertilizer production.

“This project presents a unique opportunity to address several crucial challenges simultaneously,” said Galeb Gulam, CEO of IPS. “It fosters domestic fertilizer production, reduces reliance on imports, and promotes sustainable practices, ultimately contributing to a more robust and resilient agricultural ecosystem.”

The project is expected to produce a significant 200,000 tonnes of fertilizer annually, directly addressing the current dependence on imported fertilizers. This not only enhances food security but also creates new economic opportunities for Ugandan farmers, empowering them to increase agricultural productivity and income.

“Investing in green hydrogen technology positions Uganda as a frontrunner in sustainable agricultural development within the region,” commented Odrek Rwabwogo, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID). “This project exemplifies our commitment to fostering innovation and driving economic growth through strategic partnerships and technological advancements.”

The Ugandan government’s embrace of green hydrogen technology signifies a progressive step towards a more sustainable and self-sufficient future for the nation’s agricultural sector. The project’s success has the potential to serve as a model for other African countries seeking to address similar challenges and build a greener future for their agricultural industries.

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