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Africa's needs met by EU projects
The European Union (EU) is moving ahead with plans to enhance Africa-EU supply chains. Following the Russia-Ukraine crisis and supply disruptions, the bloc has emphasized the viability of Africa's reserves to meet European demand.
FREMONT, CA: Despite Africa's status as an excellent partner for the EU, the continent's gas resources must first be used domestically before they can be exported. As a result, a symbiotic relationship is required, in which EU member countries increase their investment in African gas. Eni and Algeria's Sonatrach inked an agreement in April 2022 to strengthen cooperation on gas production while utilising the TransMed/Enrico Mattei pipeline to export up to 9 billion cubic metres of LNG to Europe. In the same month, Eni and Egypt's EGAS agreed to collaborate on exploratory activities in the Nile Delta, Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Desert regions, to increase the country's gas reserves in existing blocks while also targeting additional land. Egypt would also increase gas shipments to Europe to 3 billion cubic metres of LNG starting in 2022 as part of the agreement. In the same month, a declaration of intent was signed in Angola for increased collaboration on gas exploration, production, and trading.
Meanwhile, rising markets throughout the continent have been highlighted as possible partners for the EU, thanks to large gas resources. Mauritania, Senegal, Ghana, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, and Tanzania, for example, could access international markets and increase LNG exports as soon as large-scale projects are completed. Projects like Mozambique's 3.4-million-tonne-per-year Coral FLNG, Equatorial Guinea's 2.5-million-tonne-per-year Fortuna FLNG, and Senegal's 10-million-tonne-per-year Yakaar-Teranga LNG hub will be critical in meeting regional and international demand.
The European Commission is expected to begin official communications with gas-producing countries in Africa and other regions, as part of efforts to increase energy imports by 50 billion cubic metres of LNG and 10 billion cubic metres of pipeline gas by the end of 2022, reducing reliance on Russian energy by two-thirds. Africa, with its vast gas resources, is well-positioned to be Europe's main supplier. Although Africa's gas can meet EU demand, the continent must prioritise domestic use first. Expanding regional gas trade will be critical in kickstarting socioeconomic progress and energy access for over 600 million people who do not have access to electricity. In this context, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) has advocated for stronger European-African cooperation in building an African gas market, as well as increasing Africa-directed investment across the whole gas value chain.
AEC believes that projects such as the 12.8 mtpa Mozambique LNG project, the 13 trillion cubic feet BirAllah project in Mauritania, and the USD 13 billion Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline with better financial and technical support from Europe is crucial to helping Africa utilize its 620 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves and end energy poverty.