Hyphen Hydrogen Energy announces MoU with ITOCHU Corporation, a Major Trading Company in Japan

Namibia, 08 August 2023 – Hyphen Hydrogen Energy (Hyphen) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ITOCHU Corporation (ITOCHU) to explore areas for potential collaboration between them to drive forward sub-Saharan Africa’s largest, and only, fully vertically-integrated green hydrogen project.

Hyphen and ITOCHU, one of Japan’s largest general trading and investment companies, will now enter into talks on areas of potential collaboration on this landmark multi-billion-dollar green hydrogen project.

The agreement was signed today (08 August) by Shinya Ishizuka, ITOCHU’s CEO of Africa Bloc and Marco Raffinetti, Hyphen’s CEO. Signature of the agreement took place at a signing ceremony witnessed by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry for Japan, Nishimura Yasutoshi and the Minister for Mines and Energy for Namibia, Tom Alweendo.

Marco Raffinetti, CEO of Hyphen, said: “Hyphen expects Japan to emerge as one of the key demand centres for green ammonia globally and we are delighted to have the opportunity to explore areas for collaboration with ITOCHU to unlock supply into this critical market.  I firmly believe that Namibia has the potential to become a long-term strategic partner to Japan for the supply of green hydrogen, well beyond the scale of Hyphen’s project, given Namibia’s unique competitive advantages in green hydrogen production. Combined with the support of the Government of the Republic of Namibia that is progressively advancing the development of its green hydrogen economy.”

Shinya Ishizuka, CEO of Africa Bloc, ITOCHU said: “We are pleased that ITOCHU, a leading general trading and investment house in Japan, is contributing to a low-carbon society together with Hyphen. With this collaborative development of green ammonia in Namibia, ITOCHU will aim to create a wide range of ammonia value chains in various existing industrial applications as well as for future energy use, and will support our clients and industries in achieving low carbonization goals focusing on Japan, Asia and its surrounding markets. ITOCHU will initiate and enhance our industrial portfolio in the energy sector while achieving our commitments towards decarbonization activities in various prospective industries.”



Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact:

FTI Consulting: HyphenAfrica@fticonsulting.com


 About Hyphen

Hyphen is a Namibian registered green hydrogen development company which through a competitive tender process was awarded the rights to develop and implement Namibia’s first gigawatt scale green hydrogen project.  Hyphen is a joint venture between Nicholas Holdings Limited and ENERTRAG SE.

Hyphen’s project is being developed as the first step in the implementation of the Government’s strategy for the development of a large-scale green hydrogen industry in various regions in Namibia to support both economic growth in Namibia and assist the world in achieving its decarbonisation goals. At full scale development, the project will produce 2 million tonnes of green ammonia annually by 2029 for regional and global markets, from ~7GW of renewable generation capacity and ~3GW of electrolyser capacity, cutting 5-6 million tonnes (annually) of CO2 emissions, with Namibia’s annual 2021 emissions totalling 4.01 million tonnes[1].

About ITOCHU Corporation

The history of ITOCHU Corporation dates back to 1858 when the Company’s founder Chubei Itoh commenced linen trading operations. Since then, ITOCHU has evolved and grown over 160 years. With approximately 90 bases in 61 countries, ITOCHU, one of the leading sogo shosha, is engaging in domestic trading, import/export, and overseas trading of various products such as textile, machinery, metals, minerals, energy, chemicals, food, general products, realty, information and communications technology, and finance, as well as business investment in Japan and overseas.


ENERTRAG is one of the largest renewable-energy companies in Germany. The company develops, builds, owns and operates utility-scale integrated energy plants that produce reliable electricity and green hydrogen exclusively from wind and sun. ENERTRAG produces 2 Terawatt-hours of electricity per year from 1 Gigawatt of own assets and has more than 10 Gigawatts of wind, solar and green-hydrogen projects under development in ten countries across the globe.

About Nicholas Holdings Limited

Nicholas Holdings Limited is a strategic investment and infrastructure project developer and operator with a 30-year track record of investment and project development in Africa and Europe, mainly through its subsidiary company, Principle Capital.