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Namibia Unveils Africa’s First Hydrogen Train Project


Namibia is making waves in the green energy sector with the launch of the HyRail project, Africa’s first hydrogen-powered train initiative.

Spearheaded by TransNamib, Hyphen Technical, CMB Tech, and the University of Namibia, this groundbreaking project is set to transform rail transport on the continent. Let’s dive into the details and see how this initiative could revolutionize the industry and contribute to global environmental goals.

HyRail Project Overview

The Vision Behind HyRail

The HyRail project is not just about innovation; it’s about transforming Namibia into a significant player in the production and industrial use of green hydrogen (GH2). The project includes:

  • Conversion of Locomotives: Two locomotives and a hydrogen tender wagon will be converted to dual-fuel hydrogen. This conversion is expected to start later this year and be completed by the end of 2025.
  • Feasibility Studies: Comprehensive studies on the feasibility and impact of hydrogen dual-fuel technology will be conducted, ensuring that the technology is viable and sustainable.

Collaboration and Investment

This ambitious project is a collaborative effort between local and international companies, highlighting Namibia’s potential to lead in sustainable transport solutions.

The total investment in the HyRail project is €9.17 million, funded through grants, secured loans, and shareholder equity.

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Benefits of the HyRail Project

Environmental Impact

One of the most significant benefits of the HyRail project is its potential to reduce carbon emissions.

By converting diesel-powered locomotives to dual-fuel hydrogen, Namibia is taking a bold step towards greener, more sustainable transport solutions.

This aligns perfectly with global environmental goals and Namibia’s commitment to sustainability.

Economic Development

The HyRail project is also a significant boost to Namibia’s economy. By providing a cost-effective and sustainable transport solution for commodities like copper concentrate and iron ore, the project supports economic growth and job creation.

Additionally, the successful implementation of the HyRail project is expected to attract further investments, potentially exceeding €2 billion.

Efficiency and Innovation

The conversion of locomotives to dual-fuel hydrogen technology will increase the efficiency of freight services.

The dynamically tested locomotives will be trialed until the last quarter of 2025, ensuring they are ready for revenue service.

This innovation not only revitalizes rail transport but also sets a precedent for sustainable rail solutions in Africa.

Namibia’s Green Hydrogen Ambitions

A Leader in Green Hydrogen

Namibia is positioning itself as a leader in the production and use of green hydrogen. The HyRail project is a crucial part of this broader national strategy.

With commercial green hydrogen molecules expected to be produced later this year, Namibia is well on its way to becoming a major player in the global green hydrogen market.

Attracting Investments

The potential for Namibia to produce green hydrogen has already attracted strong interest from both local and international companies.

This interest is expected to translate into significant investments, further boosting Namibia’s economy and its green energy sector.

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The Road Ahead

Dynamic Testing and Revenue Service

The converted locomotives will undergo dynamic testing in trial service until late 2025. This period will be crucial for fine-tuning the technology and ensuring its readiness for commercial use.

Once the testing phase is complete, the locomotives will enter revenue service, marking a significant milestone in Namibia’s green energy journey.

Expansion of GH2 Use

The successful implementation of the HyRail project will pave the way for the expanded use of green hydrogen across Namibia’s rail network.

This expansion will provide a greener alternative to traditional diesel-powered trains, setting a new standard for sustainable rail transport in Africa.


The HyRail project is a game-changer for Namibia and the African continent. By embracing green hydrogen technology, Namibia is not only contributing to global environmental goals but also positioning itself as a leader in sustainable transport solutions.

The future of rail transport in Namibia looks greener and more sustainable, thanks to this innovative project.


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