The MSGBC region’s flagship energy event, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023, officially opened on Tuesday in Nouakchott, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, with an opening ceremony attended by Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani. The ceremony laid the foundation for two days of dialogue and transactions, with industry leaders providing forward-looking remarks on the future of the energy market in the MSGBC region.
“The energy sector in Mauritania has successfully implemented a policy that will make Mauritania a producer and exporter of natural gas to the rest of the world,” said Nani O. Chrougha, Minister of Petroleum, Mines and of Energy of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania . “Implementing this vision requires a lot of work at different scales, including attracting investments, improving the business environment and skills development, as well as the governance and infrastructure in place. “
At a time when global demand is on the rise, MSGBC energy is set to play a much larger role in global supply. According to Eng. Mohamed Hamel, Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, “In the future, energy demand is expected to increase further, supported by global population growth. “Satisfying this growth in energy demand while simultaneously reducing emissions requires pragmatic approaches.” He added that the Gas Exporting Countries Forum “looks forward to Mauritania committing to improving its natural resources for the benefit of its people.”
Moving forward, securing funding for the development of these reserves is difficult due to the global energy transition. Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producing Countries (APPO), shared information on how the organization supports the financing of hydrocarbon projects in Africa.
He said: “At APPO, we are working to end Africa’s dependence on external sources of financing for oil and gas. We are working with Afreximbank to establish an African Bank of Africa. energy. Two weeks ago we approved the schedule and this bank should be operational in the first half of next year. “We are also working on research centers in Africa.”
To attract foreign capital and strengthen investment competitiveness, countries in the region have adopted a series of regulatory reforms, all crucial for bringing large-scale projects to fruition. NJ Ayuk, Chief Executive Officer of the African Energy Chamber, noted that in Mauritania, “Advantageous taxes and a conductive environment have paved the way for many new investors as well as the development of gas, hydrogen, solar and wind.”
Thus, in collaboration with global investors and regional partners, countries such as Senegal and Mauritania are developing large-scale projects, while Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Conakry are introducing licensing rounds and policies aimed at guarantee investments. Two major developments will be commissioned next year: the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) project with a capacity of 2.3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and the 100,000 barrels per day Sangomar oil field development, while work progresses at the Sandiara gas plant and the 8 mtpa Mauritanian green hydrogen hub.
According to Gordon Birrell, EVP Production & Operations at bp, “The GTA project is 90% complete and we are very close to first gas.” Birrell believes that the GTA is both ambitious and crucial, and that “The GTA is a great energy project for many reasons: it has great scale, great complexity and great importance for Mauritania and the world.”
Similarly, Mark Crandall, founder and CEO of CWP Global – the company driving Mauritania’s $34 billion green hydrogen development – considers Mauritania “a very exciting place to work.” Providing information on the green hydrogen project, he said: “We will install thousands of wind turbines and hectares of solar. We will produce more than 100 TWh of electricity – that’s more than 100 times what the Mauritania uses today. Anything not needed here will be exported and will enrich Mauritania through exports.”
Under the theme “Scaling Energy Opportunities in Africa’s New Frontiers”, the conference represents the only energy forum focused on the entire MSGBC energy sector and its value chain. With the keynote speeches, the 2023 edition of the conference officially began.