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Another Omnia ESG Milestone: MoU signed with WKN Windcurrent to evaluate production of onsite green hydrogen and ammonia in South Africa

Johannesburg, 01 February 2023 : OMNIA GROUP (PTY) LTD. and WKN WINDCURRENT S.A (PTY) LTD (WKN)., a fully owned subsidiary of German based PNE AG, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to evaluate the onsite production of green hydrogen and ammonia at Omnia’s Sasolburg plant, South Africa.

A positive result from this collaboration would make Omnia less dependent on ammonia imports which are presently constrained by challenges with rail logistics and will assist Omnia in achieving their decarbonisation targets by replacing CO2 intensive, conventionally produced ammonia with green ammonia - driving Omnia towards a greener future.

Ammonia is an important input for ammonium nitrate fertilizers and explosives manufacturing.

The envisioned new ammonia production plant will be powered by renewable energy from hybrid sources, namely wind and solar power developed by WKN. The objective is to produce competitively priced green ammonia at a capacity of up to 100 000 tonnes per annum, which would result in a reduction of CO2 emissions.

The recent signing of this MoU will enable both parties to jointly evaluate and plan for the establishment of green hydrogen and green ammonia plants.

The collaboration 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. The government’s “Just Energy Transition Programme” with Germany and other countries has mobilised around $8.5 billion (USD) to accelerate the country’s transition to enhanced renewable energy sources.

“As a diversified chemicals group that supplies chemicals and specialised solutions for the agriculture, mining and manufacturing industries, we are continually looking for ways to add value to our customers throughout our supply chain. Being innovative and using green technology is at the heart of our approach and aligned to our purpose to Innovate to enhance life – together creating a greener future. Onsite production of green ammonia will significantly reduce our CO2 emissions, embed sustainability into our products, and support the country’s green energy transition,” says Seelan Gobalsamy, CEO of Omnia.

“Working alongside partners like WKN means that we can develop technology solutions together that reduce industry risk, improve operational safety, and create a lower environmental footprint.”

"We are pleased to have found an experienced partner in OMNIA with whom we can collaborate to drive this important project for climate protection. Green hydrogen and its downstream products are key to facilitating South Africa’s decarbonisation and energy transition goals while unlocking sustainable growth opportunities," says Markus Lesser, CEO of PNE. "For our group of companies, this is also an important step in the implementation of our Scale up 2.0 strategy, in which solutions around Power-to-X play a significant role.”

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About Omnia

Omnia, established nearly 70 years ago, is based in South Africa, and is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Omnia operates in 25 countries and is expanding its presence across SADC, North America, Canada, Brazil, and Australasia. Internationally recognised for its innovative research and development, and leading supply chain and manufacturing capabilities, which set Omnia apart in delivering specialised solutions to its customer. Omnia’s solutions and leading-edge technologies are offered to clients in the agriculture, mining, water, consumer care, food and pharmaceutical, coatings and manufacturing sectors.

Omnia is a purpose driven business – innovating to enhance life, together creating a greener future. Omnia operates in primary sectors and has a significant impact on food, water and mineral security. Omnia sustains livelihoods by creating employment and opportunities for growth, applying technology for efficient use of natural resources and cares deeply about the future of our planet – always acting in a sustainable manner.

About WKN Windcurrent

WKN Windcurrent has been developing wind energy projects in South Africa since 2011, while their photovoltaic (PV) project pipeline has also been under-development for the past two years. The local team comprises highly experienced renewable energy development experts, including project developers and engineers, wind and site analysts and land negotiators working together closely on the realisation of wind and solar PV projects based on the highest South African and German development standards. Amongst other development activities, the team focuses on identifying new project sites, securing land lease agreements, wind measurement and analysis, project engineering and optimisation, permitting processes, grid planning and approvals, corporate offtake and Green Hydrogen project planning.

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