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With first gas production from the Grande Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) project scheduled to come online in 2024 and promising green hydrogen projects in the works, Mauritania represents a top energy market to watch.
The government is committed to maintaining this development momentum, and through attractive fiscal terms, is inviting regional and global players to invest.
Abundance and Diversity of Resources
Mauritania is rich with an abundance of both natural and mineral resources. Mining is one of the country’s biggest industries in terms of economic contribution, with the production of iron ore, gold and copper contributing 15% of the Gross Domestic Profit and almost 60% of national exports. However, Mauritania’s resource wealth extends into the energy industry, with promising opportunities for both hydrocarbon and renewable energy development.
The country holds approximately 15 trillion cubic feet (tfc) of gas resources at the GTA project alone while the BirAllah field holds an estimated 13 tcf. Most of the country’s offshore gas acreage is still unexplored, offering lucrative opportunities for E&P investors. Mauritania also offers significant renewable energy potential. Three large-scale green hydrogen projects are currently in development – Aman, Nour and Infinity – all of which are expected to be completed by 2028 and operating in 2030. These projects demonstrate the potential for billion-dollar renewable development in Mauritania.
A Strategic Geographic Location
The Islamic Republic of Mauritania’s strategic geographical location is a considerable economic advantage. It acts as a connecting bridge across the Sahara and serves as a convergence point and transportation hub between Africa’s northern and southern regions. The country also acts as a vital marine junction between the Middle East and West Africa, as well as a natural entryway from Africa to Europe. Furthermore, Mauritania’s location on the Atlantic Ocean makes it a five-hour flight away from the American continent. This close proximity to global markets makes the country both a strategic and highly economical investment option.
An Attractive Business Environment
Mauritania’s attractive regulatory environment has served as a catalyst for large-scale projects. A new Investment Code has been established to improve investment security and reduce administrative operations while the Investment Promotion Agency serves as the centralized government entity responsible for overseeing both domestic and foreign investments, acting as a comprehensive platform for investment activities in the country. The construction of Special Economic Zones has promoted regional development by incentivizing investment in target areas and sectors. Competitive fiscal terms and clear commercial processes have made it simple to do business in Mauritania.
Opportunities to Expand Regionally
In addition to domestic investment opportunities, Mauritania’s close bilateral ties with its regional neighbors enables foreign investors to easily expand their footprint across the regional energy sector. Regional integration has been at the fore of the country’s development agenda. The country is co-developing the GTA project with Senegal; supplies Mali with power through a regional transmission line; and has proposed the establishment of a regional bank to collaboratively manage and finance regional water resources. For foreign investors, these ties will not only simplify but incentivize cross-border investments.
A Capable Domestic Workforce
Technical education and training have recently been a governmental focus in Mauritania, with a number of laws and decrees adopted. The objective is to create a competitive domestic market, reducing the reliance on foreign expertise and technology. This actually serves to attract investment as foreign companies can rely on the domestic workforce, thereby reducing employment costs and enhancing both operational efficiency and innovation.
To strengthen the domestic energy and mineral market, the government has initiated several programs in collaboration with regional and global partners to boost local content. These include the construction of a School of Mining – spearheaded by mining corporations Kinross, Mauritanian Copper Mines and SNIM -; and the establishment of the Kosmos Innovation Center – spearheaded by energy major Kosmos Energy. As such, investors are guaranteed a ready and capable workforce.
International investors are invited to attend MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023, which will be held on November 21-22 in Nouakchott, Mauritania. The event will feature expert panels focused on growing investment opportunities in the MSGBC region.