30 Oct 2023, 13:46
Carolina Kyllmann

German chancellor Scholz turns to Nigeria for new gas and hydrogen partnerships

Clean Energy Wire / Tagesspiegel Background

Chancellor Olaf Scholz travelled to Nigeria in a bid to secure new energy and economic partnerships, and help diversify Germany's energy supply. Scholz called the energy partnership between the countries an "important element of our cooperation" after meeting Nigeria's president Bola Tinubu on 29 October. "This is about gas, but also about hydrogen as the gas of the future - clean and climate-neutral," Scholz said at a press conference. "We already operate a hydrogen office [in Nigeria] and also want to make progress overall in the expansion of renewable energies," he added. There was also a willingness to invest in critical minerals, Scholz said, but he stressed that at least the first processing stage should take place in the country of origin.

Despite being Africa’s largest oil exporter and having the largest gas reserves on the continent, Nigeria has not extracted at large scale and has a poorly developed gas network, Tagesspiegel Background reported. "The chancellor and I had a very intensive discussion about this and we are ready to promote investments in gas pipelines," Tinubu said. If more gas from Nigeria reached the world market, there would be a dampening effect on the world market price, Scholz said. Germany has previously been criticised by think tanks and NGOs for suggesting to support Senegal in efforts to exploit fossil gas resources off its coast.

Russia’s war against Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis forced Germany to rethink its international dependencies, leading the country to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals on its coast. Germany is now keen to develop new partnerships and work more closely in the fields of energy and raw materials with, for example, the U.S., South America, Australia, Japan and Africa.

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