Forging a long-lasting relationship

At IN-VR we have been restlessly working towards an act now agenda to push global sustainable and traditional development in Africa and globally, hence why it has been very important to work closely with Mauritania’s Ministry of Petroleum, Mines and Energy (MPME) over the past few months and strategise on how to best highlight the country’s energy sector, currently flourishing in the region and globally. IN-VR has been hired by both MPME and the World Bank to lead the aforementioned endeavour.

Mauritania at COP27

One of the main milestones was reached as our teams joined forces to attend COP27 in Egypt and promote Mauritania‘s just transition strategic plans. During the time spent in Egypt, Mauritania excelled at showcasing its vast energy opportunities for tomorrow’s clean energies with its partners, including BP, Chariot Transitional Energy, Shell, Kosmos Energy, among others.

Furthermore, on November 9 2022, BP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Mauritania under which it will deliver an innovative programme exploring the potential for large-scale production of green hydrogen in the country.

The MoU was signed in a meeting alongside COP27 by the President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani; Abdessalam Ould Mohamed Saleh, Mauritanian Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy; BP’s Chief Executive Officer, Bernard Looney; BP’s Executive Vice President of Gas and Low Carbon Energy, Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath; BP’s Executive Vice President of Production and Operations, Gordon Birrell, and BP’s Senior Vice President for Mauritania and Senegal, Emil Ismayilov.

As stated by Dotzenrath, “BP is already developing one of the world’s most innovative gas projects with the support of the Mauritanian government, and we now intend to expand our partnership into low carbon energy by exploring the potential for a world-leading green hydrogen development, which could position Mauritania at the forefront of the energy transition”.

The Mauritanides Mining, Energy Conference & Exhibition

During the sixth edition of the Mauritanides Mining, Energy Conference & Exhibition, Mauritania welcomed local and international companies and presented the country’s vast opportunities.

In the course of Mauritanides, IN-VR was delighted to handle all communications surrounding MPME and promoting their role in this important event, including but not limited to engaging with all the Ministry’s VIP guests, including the Senegalese Minister of Energy and Renewable Energy Development, the General Director of the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines of Morocco (ONHYM), Executive Management Members of the Gambia National Petroleum Company (GNPC), and Sonatrach, among many others.

This assured that MPME was always in touch with the correct international audience and potential investors, highly expanding the Ministry’s reach in regards to effectively promoting all available opportunities in the country. This positive engagement resulted in the aforementioned MoU signed with BP, a second MoU with another key European partner, as well as the furtherance in relations with neighbouring countries and important global players.

The event offered 100 pavilions and stands for various exhibiting companies, 50 speakers and technical consultants specialized in the field, dozens of international delegations, and approximately 2,000 national and foreign attendees.

Mauritanides objectives

The Mauritanides is an energy and mines bi-annual conference and exhibition, taking place in Nouakchott, under the patronage of H.E. the President, as MPME’s platform to:

Promote advancements and success stories in Mauritania;

Attract new investment and companies in Mauritania;

Promote the country’s SMEs;

Welcome international delegations from national oil companies (hydrocarbon) and mining authorities), as well as relevant Ministers;

Promote the Minister’s agenda;

Promote and enhance the country’s image as an investment hub from a hospitality perspective.

As previously mentioned, IN-VR assisted in the execution of these objectives by managing all communication and promotional efforts surrounding MPME and its agenda.

Also, during the Mauritanides, the MPME also signed an MoU with the French company Technip Energy, a company specialized in the preparation of engineering projects. This MoU aims to define the areas of cooperation, including the training of the Mauritanian human framework of engineers and technicians through the organization of workshops for conducting engineering studies.

Highlighting Mauritania’s world class gas discoveries

IN-VR has been actively assisting Mauritania by highlighting its recent gas discoveries, including the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) and Bir Allah projects.

Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA)

GTA is an offshore Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project based on upstream gas production in 2 kilometre-deep waters on the maritime border of Mauritania and Senegal. It is the deepest offshore project in Africa till date.

The resources of this world-class field are estimated at 20 trillion cubic feet;

Exploitation is expected to begin in 2023;

Gas will be produced from a deepwater subsea system and a floating unit;

Project partners include BP and Kosmos Energy;

The project is ranked as one of the top 10 hydrocarbon discoveries of the last decade.

GTA is Mauritania’s first world-class discovery with gas production and revenue potential 30-times greater than any activity to date. It positions Mauritania as an emerging major player in gas exports and has the potential to transform the country’s economy.

Bir Allah

Bir Allah is the largest gas field in the region, located entirely in the Mauritanian offshore. Indeed, research has led to the largest gas discovery in the world in deep waters in 2019 at a depth of 8,200 feet offshore Mauritania.

The development of the BirAllah conventional gas initiative in Block C8 will produce approximately 277 million cubic feet of natural gas per day;

1,304 million cubic feet of LNG expected from 2028 through to 2060;

Project partners include BP and Kosmos Energy.

Highlighting Mauritania’s hydrogen and green potential

During Day 8 of the COP27, new analysis from the Africa Green Hydrogen Alliance (AGHA) and McKinsey concluded that green hydrogen could sustainably industrialise Africa and boost GDP by 6% to 12% in six key countries, including Mauritania; it concluded that by 2050, green hydrogen could increase the GDP of these six countries by USD $126 billion, equivalent to 12% of these countries’ current GDP. IN-VR is actively promoting Mauritania’s ambitious hydrogen undertakings that are expected to shift the country’s energy landscape, not only in the region but globally.

In addition to the above, H.E. Abdessalam Ould Mohamed Saleh, Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy of Mauritania, announced 2 major hydrogen projects that will shape the future of the country. These projects are the following:

Project Nour

The green hydrogen project, Project Nour, spans 2 onshore areas marking a total of 5,000 square kilometres, across northern Mauritania.

This location takes advantage of the wide scale wind and solar potential, important for large-scale renewable energy generation and low-cost hydrogen production. The project aims to exploit 10 GW of clean energy to produce 3 million tons of green ammonia and 600,000 of green hydrogen annually.

Moreover, Project Nour also benefits from geographical proximity to Nouadhibou (Mauritania’s deep-sea port) and to large European markets, with the potential to make Mauritania one of the world’s main producers and exporters of green hydrogen.

Project partners include Chariot Transitional Energy and Total Eren.

Project Aman

This monumental green energy project will be located in the Dakhlet Nouadhibou and Inchiri regions of the northwestern African country, and represents one of the largest of its kind in Africa and is expected to transform the regional energy mix while generating critical revenue for the Mauritanian government.

The project expects to generate approximately 110 TWh of electricity, through 18 GW of wind capacity and 12 GW of solar capacity;

Produce an estimated 1.7 million tons of green hydrogen or 10 million tons of green ammonia, annually;

Provide over 50 million cubic metres of fresh water for both domestic and agricultural usage and hydrogen-fueled transportation opportunities;

The project is expected to increase Mauritania’s gross domestic product by up to 40-50% by 2030 and 50-60% by 2035;

Project partners include Bechtel and CWP Global.

Furthermore, IN-VR has also been underlining and featuring Mauritania’s green steel and green industry, two important additions to the country’s ever growing and ever changing energy portfolio.

In May 2022, Mauritania’s state-backed SNIM (Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière de Mauritanie) signed an MoU with ArcelorMittal establishing a steel unit. ArcelorMittal is carrying out a pre-feasibility study in order to develop a direct reduced iron plant, which will be used to produce steel using green hydrogen; this will be vital for transitioning the steel industry to Net-Zero.

Moving forward

IN-VR will continue to work with MPME in years to come in order to keep promoting the country’s vast energy potential through local and international event participation, including COP28 in Dubai and the seventh edition of the Mauritanides; as well as to continue highlighting current and future LNG, hydrogen and green projects present throughout the nation.

About the Author: Felipe Gaitán Michelsen