pioneer & develop
SeaH4 will convert South-African farmed seaweed into biomethane by synthesizing it with green hydrogen and e-methanol. The production sites are planned along desert shores, facilitating decentralized production of net-zero fuels, with a particular focus on challenging sectors such as maritime and aviation.
"If I could, I would choose to be my son for a day. This unique perspective would allow me to see the world unencumbered by politics, legislation, prejudice, or tradition."
What made you decide to start this project?
Watching the cancellation of the 2008 Olympic sailing competition in Beijing due to a massive seaweed bloom made me realize the potential of seaweed as feedstock for biofuels. I have always believed that no company has a business case if it relies on the exploitation of people or our planet. That belief led us to build SeaH4 from the ground up with a focus on maximizing positive impact on the planet as a whole. More specifically, we also wanted to focus on the South African West Coast and its disenfranchised small-scale fishermen.
While we knew we were ahead of our time, we recognized the development timeline our technology would require before reaching full-scale production. The early work served as an investment in establishing both the technology and the brand, anticipating the market's maturation. Looking at the latest order books for LNG- and methanol-powered vessels, the introduction of the European ETS for shipping, and the logistical chain issues in the Red Sea and the Strait of Hormuz, our business case is now practically writing itself.
Where do you see yourself and your project in three years?
We are set to break ground on our test farm in South Africa in Q1 2024. Meanwhile our partners, Kaoko Green Energy Solutions, have kicked off the environmental impact assessment for parts of the works for our SKORPIoN* Nexus in Namibia. This large-scale test bed aims to generate revenue and conduct in-field trials for the integrated production of bio- and e-fuels. It includes a 1%-scale model of SeaH4’s commercial production of bioLNG and e-methanol. Promisingly, discussions with off-takers are underway, fostering hope that this initiative will not only pilot fuel production but also provide a means to decarbonize the African shipping industry.
Upon the establishment of the SKORPIoN Nexus in 2025, we plan to break ground on our first commercial plant. Within three years, we aim to be halfway through the construction while concurrently negotiating our second plant.
* SKORPIoN, which stands for SeaH4 / Kaoko Ocean Renewable Power InnovatiOn Namibia.
If you could step into someone else’s shoes for a day, who would it be, and what experiences or insights do you hope to gain during that time?
I would choose to be my son. This unique perspective would allow me to see the world unencumbered by politics, legislation, prejudice, or tradition. By experiencing life through his eyes, I hope to gain a fresh and unbiased understanding, enabling me to form my own conclusions about what is truly needed, fair, and justified.
Co-Founder & Project Lead of SeaH4, South Africa