Supported by:

Southern Africa’s Frontier Energy Developments to be Unpacked at IAE 2024

IAE 2024 - Namibia - Namcor
IAE 2024 - Namibia - Namcor

Frontier developments in the southern African region will be on display at the upcoming Invest in African Energy (IAE) 2024 forum in Paris, connecting European investors with Africa’s leading projects. The region is home to several new and emerging energy markets — namely, Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia – which offer first-mover advantages and access to transformative projects. These developments will be unpacked in further detail – and interested parties connected with the relevant project stakeholders – at the upcoming IAE 2024 in Paris next May.  

Mozambique

Mozambique has established itself as a major regional gas hub after exporting its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipment in November 2022 under a long-term purchase and sale contract with bp. The country’s natural gas reserves are among the largest in sub-Saharan Africa and have the capacity to ease Europe’s energy supply crunch. In addition to first production from the Coral Sul Floating LNG development, Mozambique has two other large-scale projects underway – ExxonMobil’s Rovuma LNG and TotalEnergies’ Mozambique LNG – which expect first gas in 2027 and 2028, respectively. Both projects offer myriad opportunities for contracting and procurement and could stimulate new gas trade deals between Mozambique and European partners.

To ensure that gas utilization goes beyond crude gas exports, Mozambique is also implementing gas-to-power infrastructure projects to meet regional energy demand. The planned Mozambique (Cabo Delgado) to South Africa (Richard’s Bay) Gas Pipeline will supply natural gas from the Rovuma Basin to South Africa, reducing the latter’s reliance on coal-fired power generation. The Nacala LNG-to-Powership project is another key power project underway, representing the first LNG-to-power solution and floating storage regasification unit in eastern and southern Africa. Accordingly, the sector is ripe with opportunity for European investors, project developers and technology providers when it comes to grid innovation and alternative power solutions.

South Africa

South Africa represents a highly prospective oil and gas market, with 15 projects in the pipeline between 2023 and 2027, aimed at exploiting the country’s estimated 27 billion barrels of crude oil and 60 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Several projects target energy storage in particular – which South Africa urgently needs to achieve a more stable energy supply – such as the 94,000-barrel Richards Bay III Oil Storage and 189,000-barrel Nelspruit Oil Storage facilities. Energy storage represents an attractive opportunity for investors, as it protects against inflation, leverages sustainable energy infrastructure and has the potential to generate significant returns in a relatively short period of time compared to traditional infrastructure. 

Several field developments are also underway, providing opportunities for drilling companies and subcontractors. The Amersfoort Field Development is set to drill 20 wells in the region, coupled with the construction of the Amersfoort gas-to-power project that uses the gas produced to power a containerized generator that will be integrated with the national grid from 2024. The Virginia Phase 2 project is another strategic integrated project set to produce commercial quantities of LNG and liquid helium for global export, while the Port of Ngqura FLNG project will involve the installation of a floating storage and regasification unit, gas-to-power infrastructure, cryogenic pipelines and terminal for the processing, storing, on-site exploitation and distribution of gas acquired from the country’s on– and offshore fields.

Namibia

A rapid succession of five major oil discoveries in the offshore Orange Basin has catapulted Namibia to the global exploration spotlight and attracted the attention of major operators. Ongoing and planned drilling activities in 2024 include a 10-well exploration and appraisal program from Shell in PEL 39, a four-well appraisal and exploration program from TotalEnergies in Blocks 2913B and 2912, a two-well campaign from Galp Energy in PEL 83 and a 12-well exploration and appraisal program from ReconAfrica in PEL 73. With a flurry of upstream activity, Namibia offers associated opportunities for drilling, EPC and other technical contractors.

In addition to being one of Africa’s leading oil and gas frontiers, Namibia has emerged as an upcoming green hydrogen hub. The country is commissioning sub-Saharan Africa’s largest green hydrogen production plant, led by Hyphen Hydrogen Energy and capable of producing 300,000 tons of green hydrogen and/or ammonia. The development will also feature wind and solar plants with a combined capacity of 7 GW. Given Europe’s interest in supporting clean energy solutions in Africa, green hydrogen is a highly prospective opportunity for European investors to engage with in Namibia.