Team & Experts
Our team and experts are experienced individuals who have conceived, developed and executed some of the most complex infrastructure projects in Africa and around the world. Individually, our people have deep project development experience in Africa, across the entire breadth of the value chain required for the establishment of green field, green hydrogen production and export.
Bringing all our talents together is what makes us an exceptional team.
Chief Executive OfficerOur CEO, Marco Raffinetti has had a successful career spanning 20-years, and his track record includes the execution of over US$ 1 billion in transactions. He has detailed knowledge of developments in the port, rail and energy sectors, all of which will be invaluable to Hyphen. In South Africa, Marco led the development of a 320MW thermal power plant in Richards Bay, to be operated in a system together with 350MW of renewable generation (250MW solar and 100MW of wind), in partnership with two international developers, and with a capex value of US$ 1.1 billion and was instrumental in the phased development and expansion of the Port of Maputo.
Head of Environment, Social & Governance (ESG)Our Head of Environment, Social & Governance (ESG), Toni Beukes, was born and raised in Namibia and has spent the last 10 years working in South Africa under its REIPPP Programme for various international wind energy OEMs. An admitted attorney and seasoned renewable energy executive, Toni brings more than 18 years’ experience across energy, oil and gas, and construction. She has been actively involved in developing the wind industry in South Africa, and was both Director of the South African Wind Energy Association and Chair of the organisation’s Economic Development Working Group. Toni sits on the board of the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) and in 2022 became a mentor on the Global Wind Energy Council’s ‘Women in Wind Global Leadership Program’. In 2021, she featured in a children’s book from WindEurope, ‘When I grow up, Inspiring Stories from People Working in Clean Energy’.
Senior Project Developer - Environmental Planning and ManagementSheldon is an experienced environmental planning and management professional, with more than 10 years’ experience applying sustainability thinking at policy, plan, programme and project levels. He has significant knowledge of Namibian environmental statutory requirements and international financing institutions’ ESG requirements for projects seeking finance. Sheldon has been an active member of the Environmental Assessment Professionals of Namibia (EAPAN) executive committee for seven years, including one as the organisation’s president. Sheldon actively promotes innovation and best practice in environmental assessment and management, such as finding sustainable solutions through careful consultation.
Senior Project Developer - TechnicalJan-Barend (Senior Project Developer) is a Namibian engineer and developer with over seven years of experience and was a key driver in the establishment of the Namibian renewable IPP industry, including the development, construction and commissioning of Namibia’s first wind park in Lüderitz and several solar parks, in addition to the development of utility scale desalination water projects in Namibia. He prioritises public and community engagements within each project’s implementation. Jan-Barend is actively involved in Namibia’s renewable energy and economic associations and is the current Chairperson of REIAoN.
Office ManagerSelma joined Hyphen from one of Namibia’s leading IPP players and infrastructure developer. Selma has more than 10 years of experience in finance, administration and client-facing roles in Namibia’s private and public sectors. Selma enjoys the challenges and rewards that come with day-to-day office operations, is adept at wearing many hats and managing multiple areas of work. Selma also has a keen interest in strategic management and leadership.
Training & Human Resources CoordinatorTanya is a well-seasoned training and human resources professional with a career spanning 14 years in Namibia’s mining industry. She brings a wealth of experience in supporting the design and development of training content and materials. Tanya holds a BCom Honours degree with a major in human resources, and a National Diploma in human resources. She is also a certified as an assessor and moderator.
Graduate Intern: EnvironmentalAnna was born and raised in a small village in the northern part of Namibia called Oikokola. She holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Dundee, Scotland, in energy studies, specialising in energy and the environment. She also holds a BA Hons in Geology from the University of Namibia. Anna has five years’ working experience in exploration geology and a further three years in environmental and social impact assessments.
Graduate Intern: Renewable Energy AnalystRomanus hails from Iipanda, Ogongo, in the Omusati Region. He has a Master of Philosophy degree and a Post-Graduate Diploma in sustainable development, both from the University of Stellenbosch. Romanus also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from STADIO and is currently studying for a PhD at Wits University. Romanus worked as a primary school teacher for seven years and has held various education, environmental and development roles.
Graduate Intern: EnvironmentalSwanu was born and raised in Opuwu in the north-western part of Namibia and is a former teacher. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology and biochemistry, and a Master of Science degree in water resources from the University of Namibia. His work experience includes laboratory assistant at the University of Namibia and water consultant with GIZ Namibia.
Community Relationship Manager, HardapRichie is an experienced community development and natural resources practitioner with more than 11 years of experience working in protected area management. This includes working in //Tsau Khaeb and Etosha National Parks, and at Namibia Development Trust, where he focused on supporting rural and urban marginalized communities. As the Community Relationship Manager for Hardap, Richie will foster positive relationships with local communities, organisations and stakeholders while supporting the project's environmental workstream. He holds a degree in natural resource management: nature conservation from the Namibian University of Science and Technology.
Victoria De Klerk+
Community Relationship Manager, //KharasBorn and raised in Lüderitz, Victoria has 15 years on-the-ground experience in community development, local authority administration and skills development. In her previous role, she served as centre manager for a local technical vocational education and training centre. As community relationship manager for //Kharas, her role will involve developing and maintaining a positive relationship with local communities, community-based organisations and key stakeholders. She will also be office manager for Hyphen’s Lüderitz office. Victoria holds a bachelor’s degree in lifelong learning in community education from the University of Namibia and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in adult education.
Project ManagerJonathan Metcalfe (Business Case Development Manager at ENERTRAG) is project manager for the Hyphen Hydrogen Energy project in Namibia. His core focus is to position Southern Africa as a sustainable global energy player of the future. Jonathan has expertise in Southern Africa’s hydrogen sector, having previously led the Hydrogen division for PwC South Africa. He holds a technical background in Economics and Finance, specializing in covariance matrix mathematics and risk modelling.
Project DirectorPatrick Stein-Kaempfe is a seasoned private equity professional with experience with leading investment houses H.I.G., Penta Investments and Cranemere across the US, Europe and Africa. Patrick’s experience in the energy sector include the buyout of Haltermann (today H.C.S. Group), a specialty refinery, during his time at H.I.G., and a €100 million series E growth capital round for MiaSolé, a CIGS solar PV manufacturer, during his time at Passport Capital. Patrick co-founded Actus Education Africa, an Africa-focused K-12 education holding platform and led successful investments in Kenya’s leading affordable private school chain with 6 schools and close to 5,000 enrolments, where he remains a shareholder. Patrick started his career as a project manager at Siemens across a range of global assignments.
Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz+Dr. Tobias Bischof-Niemz (Head of Division, New Energy Solutions, ENERTRAG) has over 15 years’ experience in the renewables and broader energy sector, including systems energy research and planning, and the development of green hydrogen projects in Africa. He is responsible for all green hydrogen projects at ENERTRAG. Before joining ENERTRAG in 2017, Tobias established and led the Energy Centre at the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), he worked as chief engineer at the system operator of South Africa’s electric utility Eskom, and as senior consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Tobias is author of the book “South Africa’s Energy Transition” that outlines a roadmap for a low-cost, decarbonised and job-rich future for South Africa’s energy sector.
Dr Gunar Hering+
CEO of EnertragDr Gunar Herring (CEO, ENERTRAG), has over 20 years’ experience in the renewables and broader energy sector, spanning advisory, project development and operations. Gunar Hering has been a member of the Executive Board at ENERTRAG AG since 2014 and is responsible for project development, asset management, and finance.
Uli Heindl+Ulrich Heindl (Head of New Energy Systems, ENERTRAG) has over 25 years of work experience in the development and implementation of large-scale production facilities for the industrial gas business with companies Linde, Air Liquide, and Air Products. He worked in various positions on four continents with responsibilities for business development, engineering, project execution and operations. Most recently he was leading the development of the world’s largest Green Ammonia project with 1.1 Mtpa NH3 capacity in Neom, Saudi Arabia for Air Products.
Mercia Grimbeek+Mercia Grimbeek (Director, Project Development, ENERTRAG and Chair, South African Wind Energy Association) is a seasoned development professional in the energy and environment industry with over 20 years experience. She has extensive local and international experience in the development of renewable projects and has actively participated in the Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme in South Africa since its inception. She currently holds the position of Development Director at ENERTRAG South Africa. Mercia continues to contribute to the development and growth of the renewable industry in South Africa and serves as Director and Chairperson of the South African Wind Energy Association. She is an avid champion for the development of women and youth in the industry.
Brian Myerson+Mr. Myerson (founder of Nicholas Holdings) is a hedge fund pioneer having entered the UK markets with an activist investment strategy in 1989. Over a 33-year period he has made and realised investments worth over $1 billion. Mr. Myerson has been Chairman of or a Board Director of nine London and Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed companies. In Africa specifically, he has raised and invested in companies worth over $800 million since 2003. This includes the acquisition of a controlling stake in Sheltam in 2017. Sheltam – which is now named Traxtion – is a provider of railway operations, leasing and maintenance services and has grown to be one of Africa’s largest privately owned railway companies.
Simon Hagedorn+Simon Hagedorn (CFO and member of the executive board of ENERTRAG) has a 15-years track record in structuring, financing and realizing renewable energy projects. During the last decade at ENERTRAG, he was responsible for successfully raising over US$2 billion in long-term debt and equity transactions for energy projects in diverse markets.
Aram Sander+Aram Sander (Head of Department, International Project Development PtX, ENERTRAG) develops business and projects in the area of international medium and large-scale green hydrogen. Before joining ENERTRAG in 2021, Aram worked for ENERCON, a leading and innovative German Wind Turbine producer, as a Managing Director for Uruguay. Aram has strong experience in developing large-scale wind and solar farms in the international environment along the entire value chain including the investor’s perspective.
James Peggie+James Peggie has over 25 years experience as a lawyer and investor, with a focus on real estate and infrastructure investments, both private and publicly listed. As General Counsel of the Nicholas Holdings Group and Co-Founder of Principle Capital, James is responsible for all corporate and legal affairs of the group which specialises in investments in the real estate, infrastructure and wealth management, and fiduciary services sectors. In 2012, James became Senior Independent Director of Sirius Real Estate, a former investment of Principle Capital and now a FTSE 250 business with a market value of £1.3 billion. It is listed in London and Johannesburg and is also one of the largest constituents of the South African Property (SAPY) index.
Hello from Hyphen: Meet Our Team
It’s been an exciting few months for the Hyphen team, who have been working around the clock. We’ve managed to get them to take a quick break to answer a few questions about themselves, their roles, and their passions, so you can get to know the faces behind Hyphen.
Hyphen is supported by a team of internal experts in the development of the project. As the project develops, further reputable third-party service providers are expected to join the team.
Slaughter and May, one of the world’s most prestigious law firms, is providing international legal advice. In-country legal advice is being provided by ENS Africa, Africa’s largest law firm.
PRDW, an international group of consulting engineers practising exclusively in the specialist areas of port and coastal engineering, has been retained to assist in the design of the port and associated ammonia export facilities.
Tax advisory / consultancy
One of the big 4 accounting firms is providing tax advice and broader consultancy services to supplement the Hyphen development team as we recruit in-country resources.