One of football’s most prestigious tournaments, the African Cup of Nations, is providing an opportunity to showcase Africa’s hydrogen prowess and the innovative solutions that local companies have been developing.
One such company is iH2, an Ivory Coast-based company which is seeking to use the reputable event to exhibit to the world the potential that the African continent has in developing hydrogen.
To achieve this, the company wishes to have a hydrogen demonstrator project ready for the African Cup of Nations 2023, with the group already providing a platform for companies to decarbonise their operations through hydrogen
H2 View spoke to iH2 founder Philibert Dutrieux to find out more about the company’s inception, its role in the hydrogen economy and how hydrogen could kickstart the clean energy revolution in the Ivory Coast and West Africa.
Thank you for giving H2 View your time. Could you tell us a little bit about iH2 – Ivoire Hydrogen and how it fits into the hydrogen space?
Philibert Dutrieux (PD): iH2 was born from the desire of its co-founders to democratise the use hydrogen in West Africa. Until now hydrogen has been nonexistent in the West African landscape. Both founders being keen football enthusiasts, supporting the Lille Olympique Sporting Club (Lille OSC, LOSC) and Olympique de Marseille (OM) respectively, their vision to use the African Cup of Nations in 2023 football competition as means to promote hydrogen seemed an unmissable window of opportunity, combining both of their passions.
What applications does the company provide in relation to hydrogen?
PD: The first application that iH2 can provide is a consultancy and audit facility for companies that wish to decarbonise their activity. Such services include sourcing, communication, learning, assistance and legal advisories. The second aspect of iH2 is to combine territorial studies and project management, including but not limited to, feasibility and opportunity studies, encompassing technical and economical data and facts, with an in-depth investigation of the geological assets. And finally, project management to support and assist ongoing projects from start to finish.
What is the current hydrogen landscape like in the Côte d’Ivoire?
PD: Being the pioneer in regards to hydrogen in the Ivory Coast, iH2 indents to contribute to the accession of hydrogen, by making it accessible and readily available. Be it for heavy goods vehicles, the average consumer, the local school or hospital. As you are aware, Africa relies immensely on fossil-fuelled generators; we want to decarbonise them and provide our nation, our heart land, with hydrogen generators.
The company also plans on installing the first hydrogen demonstrator in Côte d’Ivoire in 2023 for the holding of the Africa Cup of Nations of football. Can you tell us more about this?
What do you hope to achieve through this hydrogen demonstrator project?
PD: The demonstrator is crucial in helping develop the understanding of hydrogen through mobility and transport. Prior to which a hydrogen educational and learning campaign, explaining the use of, and, venting the benefits of hydrogen, will reach out to people in various industries and educational establishments to reinforce their understanding of hydrogen.
What do you believe is the future for hydrogen in your nation? Where do you want it to be by the end of the decade?
PD: Hydrogen is the environmentally sustainable future for all transport, be it for heavy goods or personal day-to-day use, for space exploration and travel – NASA already launches its rockets with hydrogen. We are at the forefront of hydrogen in the Ivory Coast, and, through democratising it, we have the yearning to empower everyone in the Ivory Coast and provide our nation with the revolution that is hydrogen.
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