The minister of science and technology, Naledi Pandor, has unveiled South Africa’s first prototype hydrogen fuel-cell forklift and a refuelling station at Impala Refining Services in Springs, near Johannesburg. The development is set to boost South Africa’s hydrogen fuel-cell industry.
The prototype is a collaborative effort between the Department of Science and Technology through the HySA Systems Centre of Competence, based at the University of the Western Cape, and Impala Platinum (Implats) through its Impala Refineries in Springs.
Over the past three years, Implats has provided HySA Systems with funds of R6 million to enable the prototype development. Implats plans to use hydrogen fuel-cell technology as its main source of energy for material handling and underground mining equipment.
Speaking at the event, Minister Pandor said fuel-cell technologies have the potential to provide access to affordable, safe, clean and reliable energy, which is necessary for broad-based economic development and growth in the country.