A new analysis released by global energy market research firm, Rystad Energy, explores production and export challenges and opportunities within Africa’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) market through to 2040.
According to the report, Africa has the potential to triple its LNG export capacity between 2022 and 2040 with the continent projected to increase its liquefaction capacity from 77 million tons per annum (mtpa) in 2021 to 146 mtpa in 2030 and 234 mtpa in 2040, if energy companies can address country-specific financing and security issues and bring projects online in a timely manner.
While Mozambique, Nigeria and Mauritania have the potential to massively boost their liquefaction capacity, Algeria, Egypt and other African producers will record incremental capacity increases during the forecast period, according to the analysis. In terms of investments, Rystad Energy projects the continent to record up to $90 billion in LNG-related investments between 2021 and 2030 and up to $118 billion between 2031 and 2040.
Driving Africa’s increases in LNG exports is the rapid move by producing countries and companies to take advantage of supply and pricing opportunities caused by Europe’s shift away from Russian supplies over the Russian-Ukraine war which has paved the way for Africa to increase exports to Europe from 45% in 2021 to 55% in 2022, with a number of gas production and supply deals being signed between Europe and various African producing countries, according to the report.
With regards to challenges which Africa needs to address to maximize its LNG exports, the report has identified insurgencies and security issues in Africa, policy uncertainties, a lack of adequate infrastructure and the inability by African countries to fast-track project development as the greatest threats to the continent’s LNG market expansion.
With developed markets such as the U.S. and Qatar well equipped to fast-track project developments and LNG monetization to meet the current increases in energy demand, Rystad Energy states that Africa will need to step up its efforts to accelerate LNG project rollout.
The analysis also states that with production in Africa decreasing, the continent will need to ramp up exploration activities and will depend on projects under development and those set to be sanctioned to increase output through 2040. By addressing these challenges, Africa is well positioned to become the globally leading LNG exporter.