Skip to content

Can Africa Serve Europe with Hydrogen Energy from Its Renewables?—Assessing the Economics of Shipping Hydrogen and Hydrogen Carriers to Europe from Different Parts of the Continent


There exists no single optimal way for transporting hydrogen and other hydrogen carriers from one port to the other globally. Its delivery depends on several factors such as the quantity, distance, economics, and the availability of the required infrastructure for its transportation. Europe has a strategy to invest in the production of green hydrogen in Africa to meet its needs. This study assessed the economic viability of shipping liquefied hydrogen (LH2 ) and hydrogen carriers to Germany from six African countries that have been identified as countries with great potential in the production of hydrogen. The results obtained suggest that the shipping of LH2 to Europe (Germany) will cost between 0.47 and 1.55 USD/kg H2 depending on the distance of travel for the ship. Similarly, the transportation of hydrogen carriers could range from 0.19 to 0.55 USD/kg H2 for ammonia, 0.25 to 0.77 USD/kg H2 for LNG, 0.24 to 0.73 USD/kg H2 for methanol, and 0.43 to 1.28 USD/kg H2 for liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs). Ammonia was found to be the ideal hydrogen carrier since it recorded the least transportation cost. A sensitivity analysis conducted indicates that an increase in the economic life by 5 years could averagely decrease the cost of LNG by some 13.9%, NH3 by 13.2%, methanol by 7.9%, LOHC by 8.03%, and LH2 by 12.41% under a constant distance of 6470 nautical miles. The study concludes with a suggestion that if both foreign and local participation in the development of the hydrogen market is increased in Africa, the continent could supply LH2 and other hydrogen carriers to Europe at a cheaper price using clean fuel.

Funding source: The research funding was from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (Tolerant Efficient Energy Based on Renewable Energy Sources) grant number: N 975.42. Young Scientist laboratory 323/22. The Postdoctoral Research Grant Directorate of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology of South Africa is also acknowledged.

Article metrics loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error