THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN NATION IS PUSHING AHEAD WITH HYPHEN ENERGY’S $9.4 BILLION PROJECT EQUIVALENT
By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa, Cape Town, SA
In less than a fortnight, Tom Alweendo, the Minister of Mines and Energy of Namibia, will meet with their MSGBC counterparts in West Africa’s leading energy forum.
Organizers of the forum have confirmed that from 1 to 2 September, the nations of the MSGBC basin, their African allies, international oil companies and investors will convene to write a future for African energy that develops Africa.
MSGBC region– consists of Mauritania 🇲🇷, Senegal 🇸🇳, The Gambia 🇬🇲, Guinea Conakry 🇬🇳, and Guinea Bissau 🇬🇼 – has received growing interest from international investors.
The MSGBC region is potentially able to get Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), in the oil and gas sector, but also others including renewable energy, mining, fisheries, agriculture, tourism and services as the ravages of Russia-Ukraine war escalate.
Notable amongst those countries stepping in to explore synergies with their MSGBC counterparts is Namibia 🇳🇦, a nation with 11 billion barrels of discovered oil reserves to the basin’s estimated 9 billion, they said.
While Namibia has further confirmed a delegation of half a dozen of its top civic executives. According to experts, having experienced its own hydrocarbons surge akin to the basin’s this past decade, Namibia continues to take great strides towards becoming a competitive oil and gas producer.
Under Tom Alweendo’s leadership, Namibia has become one of the most attractive African nations for investment thanks to regulatory reforms, cementing ties with a diverse slate of super majors including TotalEnergies, Exxon Mobil, ReconAfrica, Eco Atlantic, Africa Energy Corp and Qatar Energy.
And indeed research attests, just this year, Shell and Total Energies announced two world-class discoveries a month apart in January and February, respectively.
The former of these, Shell’s Graff-1, holds 300 million barrels of reserves, trumped only by the latter –Total Energies’ Venus-1 field with three billion barrels worth of recoverable oil.
This is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest ever oil find and Total Energies’ largest discovery of the past two decades, dispelling any uncertainty over Namibia’s paramount standing in the African energy sector.
Moreover, following in the MSGBC basin’s footsteps, Namibia is approaching a one third renewables share at 30.3% of total fiscal energy consumption, and whilst Mauritania lines up the world’s largest green hydrogen project – CWP’s $40 billion 30 GW Aman mega development– Namibia is pushing ahead with Hyphen Energy’s $9.4 billion project equivalent, taking advantage of Alweendo’s deep financial background as the first Namibian Governor of the Bank of Namibia and prior Minister of Economic Planning to attract foreign direct investment at unprecedented levels.
In addition, Alweendo is scheduled to speak at MSGBC 2022’s opening morning’s Ministerial Panel along with the respective ministers of Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Congo-Brazzaville, subsequently gathering later that day.
The meeting under the auspices of President Macky Sall to co-author the DAKAR DECLARATION –a common African position on approaching a just and equitable energy transition.
Notably, the minister is joined by Maggy Shino, Petroleum Commissioner; Immanuel Mulunga, Managing Director at the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR); Rachel Msiska, Personal Assistant at NAMCOR; Shiwana Ndeunyema, Executive: Strategy and Business Development at NAMCOR, Elvis Shiweda, Ambassador of the Republic of Namibia to Senegal, in comprising the national delegation.
It will be interesting to see in the next couple years, whether Namibia will go on to become a new ‘Power-House’ of Southern Africa; and even Africa for that matter.