German Economy Minister Robert Habeck has embarked on a five-day tour to Namibia and South Africa in search of hydrogen to ensure energy security in Europe’s largest economy, as the European country seeks to replace Russian gas with alternative energy resources.
The trip to Namibia and South Africa follows H.E Habeck’s recent visit to Qatar where the Minister signed a 15-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) purchase and supply contract with Qatar Energy.
The African Energy Chamber (AEC), as the voice of the African energy sector, supports Habeck and Germany’s move to embark in green hydrogen partnerships with Namibia and South Africa but believes the vast natural gas resources which remain untapped across the southern African region present massive energy security and economic growth opportunities, and win-win scenarios for Germany and the southern African countries involved.
The AEC believes that the two countries’ rapidly expanding gas industry – on the back of recent giant discoveries including TotalEnergies’ Luiperd and Brulpadda discoveries in South Africa and Namibia’s Venus and Graff discoveries, as well as the tremendous hydrocarbon potential in the Namib basin – presents a quick and sustainable solution to address Germany’s current energy crisis.
Eni’s Coral Sul Floating LNG project in Mozambique – which made its first LNG shipment to Europe in mid-November – is the perfect example of the potential of leveraging Africa’s offshore gas to ensure energy reliability in Europe. The AEC strongly urges Germany to maximize investments in Namibia and South Africa’s LNG production and export potential to address its looming gas shortages.
With Namibia and South Africa prioritizing gas exploitation and reserve expansion to meet electrification targets – and Germany increasing coal dependence to meet demand – Germany’s investments in gas exploration in the high-prospects deep water and ultra-deep water basins of southern Africa could play a crucial role in driving a just energy transition in Europe and Africa.
“Germany is seeking energy security and wants to decarbonize while South Africa and Namibia want to industrialize. The trillions of natural gas reserves both on- and offshore across southern Africa will be crucial in driving long-term socioeconomic developments for the three parties. As the Chamber, we are confident gas presents the best energy resource Germans can seek from Africa to address their energy woes without further delays,” states NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of the AEC.