Germany has made a significant step towards developing hydrogen production capacity through the establishment of a supply chain in the MENA region by partnering with Mauritania, according to a report by the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).
The four-way partnership involves a consortium made up of UAE renewable energy giant MASDAR, an Abu Dhabi state-owned company, Egyptian technology provider Infinity and German project developer Conjuncta. The three parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mauritania to set up a $34 billion green hydrogen project, which has an overall production capacity of 8 million tons of ammonia amongst other hydrogen-related products, and a total electrolyzer capacity of approximately 10GW.
Located northeast of Mauritania’s capital Nouakchott, the first project phase will involve a 400MW production capacity and is set to be completed in 2022. Stefan Liebing, CEO of Conjuncta, notes that the project will have strong links to Germany, not only due to its technological input but also as a potential off-taker of the hydrogen products.
By 2030, European governments are aiming to achieve 10 million tons of green hydrogen or ammonia imports, although, the short-term supply options are looking very meager. Most reports indicate that, if Europe’s renewable targets are to be met and a green hydrogen market is established, Europe will need to import around 25 million tons of green hydrogen/ammonia per year.
Unfortunately, domestic European green hydrogen production will not yet be available or competitive at all in 2030. The UAE has been a clear target for Germany and the Netherlands, but other countries are also being explored. Saudi Arabia, which has an ever-growing list of green hydrogen projects being planned, and Egypt, where Gulf Arab money is entering major new hydrogen projects, are also potential suppliers.
Ostensibly, Mauritania may be one of the less prominent options, though its geographical position still makes it a contender.
The $34 billion project could be a game-changer for the Nouakchott government. Shell recently signed a new exploration and production contract with Mauritania’s Ministry of Petroleum, Mines and Energy to conduct exploration activities in Block C2 offshore Mauritania.
Shell holds a 75% stake in the block with the government holding the remaining 25%. Block C2 is situated to the south of Block C10, an area in which Shell is already conducting exploration activities.
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Source: Oilprice.com (Cyril Widdershoven)