West Africa is home to a diverse landscape of energy players, from mature petroleum producers to emerging gas frontiers. For established markets, the energy transition requires decarbonizing and optimizing existing operations, while bringing renewable energy and carbon capture technologies to the forefront. Meanwhile, frontier markets are seeking to build sustainable energy mixes from the ground up, relying on integrated gas developments to fuel their transition. As a result, an array of partnership and investment opportunities are shaping the region, which European and global investors can access at the upcoming Invest in African Energy forum, taking place in Paris on May 14-15, 2024.
As the largest oil producer on the continent, Nigeria is seeking to attract sizable foreign investments to meet net-zero targets by 2050. At COP28 earlier this month, the Nigerian Federal Government announced investment opportunities totaling $585 billion within its energy sector, promising significant returns and the support of local authorities. In the short term, the country’s strategy involves driving renewable energy penetration across its operations, while reducing methane emission intensity and achieving net-zero in the medium-to-long term.
Within these investment opportunities, $272 billion relates to installed renewable power production, transmission and distribution, natural gas transmission and distribution infrastructure and electric chargers. Investment opportunities totaling $96 billion lie in oil and gas processing optimization, energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage, while $80 billion are in the adoption of zero-emissions technologies and fuels. The remaining $2.8 billion comprises opportunities associated with clean cooking. As a result, the country features growing demand for European investors and technology and service providers who are capable of implementing clean energy solutions.
As another mature producer in the region, Ghana has also unveiled an ambitious energy transition framework that totals $550 billion in investment opportunities and provides a path to net-zero emissions. The plan focuses on deploying low-carbon solutions in six main categories, which would achieve 90% of targeted emission reductions. These include electrification and renewables; carbon capture and storage; low-carbon hydrogen; battery electric vehicle technologies; clean cooking technologies; and negative-emissions solutions.
Several innovative projects are underway in Ghana, which could serve as a model for European investors and project developers. The country is currently building its first hybrid plant utilizing solar and hydro resources to generate 250 kW, as well as piloting a wave energy project in the Gulf of Guinea capable of producing 1,000 MW and generating up to two billion dollars in investment opportunities. The government has also launched a hybrid waste-to-energy pilot project at the Atwima Nwabiagya South Municipality that aims to produce 100 kW of biogas from municipal waste, with the potential to produce green hydrogen. Still, an influx of capital and technology is needed to fully explore the viability of clean energy technologies, for which there is strong government will.
As one of the most exciting energy hotspots on the continent, Senegal offers frontier hydrocarbon resources and an attractive operating environment, along with close proximity and cultural ties to Europe. The country is awaiting first oil and gas production next year from its Sangomar Field Development and Greater Tortue Ahmeyim Liquefied Natural Gas Project, respectively, which present considerable opportunities for service and technology providers in the fields of gas processing, gas-to-power and associated infrastructure. Last June, Senegal launched its Just Energy Transition Partnership with France, Germany, the European Union, the UK and Canada to support its efforts to attain universal energy access on the back of a low-carbon, sustainable energy matrix. The country is currently drafting a comprehensive investment plan that will identify the type and scope of investments required.