Germany to pursue gas projects, renewable energy with Senegal
Berlin reaches its hands out to numerous energy-producing nations to fix the energy crisis at home.
On his first trip to Africa, German chancellor Olaf Scholz said that Germany wants to pursue gas and renewable energy projects with Senegal.
The war in Ukraine has affected both global energy and food prices, starting not only inflation but also energy shortage in Europe as the continent looks to wean dependency on Russian energy post-war.
Berlin, in addition to other European nations, has forced sanctions on Moscow's energy, in an attempt not only to isolate Russia, but, as an imminent side effect, isolating itself from inevitable energy sources.
Read more: EU seeks to phase out Russian energy in 7 years
Senegal has billions of cubic meters of gas reserves, and with the current situation, it is bound to become a major energy provider in the region.
Europe has been looking into the African continent (and the Middle East!) to mitigate its energy crisis. Not only is Germany aiming to strike deals with Senegal, but it has also already struck an LNG deal with Qatar, despite that Qatari LNG reserves were already saturated. France, in parallel, has also been warming up to Algeria for natural resources, French foreign minister Le Drian saying that cooperation with Algiers is "indispensable."
"Germany is seeking to reduce its heavy reliance on Russia for gas following the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine. It has initiated talks with the Senegalese authorities about gas extraction and liquified natural gas," Scholz said, starting his 3-day trip in the country.
At a news conference, Senegalese President Macky Sall said that the energy deal "is a matter worth pursuing intensively," saying that the talks are of great common interest to both parties.
Furthermore, the Chancellor said that Berlin is interested in Senegalese renewable energy projects. However, he did not provide details.
On Friday, a Berlin official said Germany could help gas exploration in Senegal. Sall, on his part, expressed Senegal's readiness to supply the European market with liquefied natural gas (LNG), predicting that Senegal next year could provide up to 2.5 million tonnes of LNG, and 10 million tonnes of the energy resource by 2030.
Commenting on gas exploration and project financing, Sall responded, "all that is open, and we are keen to work with Germany in this context."
At the upcoming G7 summit in June, Germany has invited Senegal and South Africa as guests. Although both countries abstained from voting on the UN resolution which condemns Russia's military operation as an "invasion," Germany warms up, and proposes gas exploration and deals.
Speaking as the chairman of the African Union, the Senelagese president said that the Union does not want to take sides in the war.
"Very clearly, we want peace," he said, "we're working for a de-escalation, we're working for a ceasefire, for dialogue ... that is the African position," revealing that he will also be visiting Moscow and Kiev in the coming weeks.
"I expressed to Chancellor Scholz our serious concern about the impact of the war," Sall added.