Mauritania Takes Aim for Equitable Economic Growth

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With the highest GDP per capita in the MSGBC basin, Mauritania’s economy is a pillar of progress in the region, but it was also among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, flipping from a fair 5.9% growth rate in 2019 to a contraction of 3.6% in 2020.

Now, as the pandemic subsides, the country is once more regaining its standing, having moved from 2.8% growth last year to 4.2% projected growth this year, coupled with a positive outlook for the medium-term.

The key to this, highlighted in the fifth edition of the World Bank’s Report on the Economic Situation in Mauritania, lies in the country’s pioneering growth of extractive industries, notably in the energy sector, bringing significant foreign direct investment into the nation and securing formal sector job creation.

This year, Mauritania via its national oil company, La Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures (SMHPM) has released a record 28 new offshore blocks for bidding, numbered 1 through 36 and surrounding the existing C-7, C-8, C-10, C-12, C-15 and C-31 blocks operated by bp, Capricorn, Shell and TotalEnergies. And already, hydrocarbon mega-reserves have been discovered in the nation, among them C-8’s 20 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas in the BirAllah and Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) fields, both operated by bp with the former approaching final investment decision this year and the latter expecting first production in 2023.

Mauritania’s energy sector does not rely on natural gas and oil alone but has plans for diversification, on scale. As its $4.8 billion GTA development, shared with Senegal, lines up to produce 220 MW of gas-to-power equivalent, agreements inked between the government of Mauritania and private firms have placed 40 GW of renewables-backed green hydrogen — costing just over $40 billion— in the pipeline. The larger of these, the Aman development by CWP Global, will produce 10 million tons of green ammonia — a carrier for hydrogen —from 18 GW of wind and 12 GW of solar power, set to reduce unemployment by one third by 2035 and boost GDP by 50-60%, within a similar timeframe. Meanwhile, Project Nour, developed by Chariot Energy, will harness 10 GW of combined solar and wind power to create 600,000 tons of green hydrogen per annum with a large part of it exported to European markets, via the Netherlands, with a new world-class ammonia import terminal under construction.

Mauritania also boasts a solid 457.9 GW of solar and 47 GW of wind potential, and its regionally leading adoption of renewable technologies to harness these resources has seen the country climb from zero renewables in 2008 to a 37% grid share today or 27.5 watts per capita in green energy. And in light of the World Bank’s findings, pushing for sustainable equitable development, a focus on public private partnerships, private investment and job creation, Mauritania’s growth and diversification plans can be seen as examples of governance and policy excellence in the Basin.

The upcoming MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference 2022 will feature some of the country’s leading firms with works ranging from bp to Chariot, the unveiling of new blocks on the market and driving investment opportunities with financiers flocking in from the globe to atten. Thus, with positive recent economic developments behind it and a world-class pipeline ahead, a surplus budget balance and falling public debt, Mauritania’s economy is perhaps more secure than ever, having come back stronger after the pandemic. Head to https://msgbcoilgasandpower.com/ to register for MSGBC 2022 and join Mauritania’s leading energy actors in securing a future for the country’s power that develops both Mauritania and the region.

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MSGBC OIL, GAS & POWER 2022

Under the patronage of H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power will once again take place in Dakar, Senegal, with the event serving as a catalyst for investment and multi-sector development in 2022. To find out more visit msgbcoilgasandpower.com or contact sales@energycapitalpower.com.

MSGBC OIL, GAS & POWER 2022

Under the patronage of H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power will once again take place in Dakar, Senegal, with the event serving as a catalyst for investment and multi-sector development in 2022. To find out more visit msgbcoilgasandpower.com or contact sales@energycapitalpower.com.

Elliot Connor

Elliot Connor

Elliot Connor is Energy Capital & Power's Field Editor for the MSGBC region. He holds a PgD in Environmental Engineering and is currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration. He is also a bestselling author, TED speaker and charity CEO, having priorly worked as a columnist for India’s largest newspaper: The Daily Pioneer.

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