Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has offered Mauritania up to €200m ($215m) in financial support over the next five years to aid the development of green hydrogen projects in the North African state.
Speaking in English at a green hydrogen roundtable in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott yesterday, he told President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani:
“In order to encourage trade and investments with Mauritania, we are making available, from my country, up to €200m in financial support over the next five years through different instruments, and this will facilitate the development of green hydrogen projects with the participation of Spanish companies, which are global leaders in the field of renewable energy.”
“Such projects, I believe, will enable social progress, job creation, and economic growth in your country.
“And at the same time, the development of clean hydrogen and the decarbonised extraction of minerals is also in Europe’s interest as we seek to green our economies and diversify our supply chains.”
At the same meeting, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen suggested that Mauritania use some of its green hydrogen to produce green iron and steel, and export those metals to Europe, utilising the country’s indigenous iron ore (see separate story here)
Sánchez continued: “In the hugely volatile world we live in, we need partners that share our vision of a greener, more sustainable and more equitable future. Partners like Mauritania.
“So please count on the Spanish government, the Spanish private companies, in this path to a new paradigm of just and sustainable development.”
Accompanying Sánchez on the trip were executives from Spanish companies with interests in green hydrogen, including Enagás Renovable and Acciona & Nordex Green Hydrogen, as well as European firms TotalEnergies, Smartenergy and HyDeal project developer Soladvent.
The EU wants to import ten million tonnes of green H2 from outside the bloc by 2030, and the North African country is in prime position to be a key supplier due to its proximity to Europe, vast swathes of undeveloped land, and strong winds and sunshine to generate low-cost renewable energy.
Mauritania only had 122MW of renewable energy installed at the 2022, according to Irena figures, but there are several 10GW-plus green hydrogen projects planned in the country that would require vast amounts of new wind and solar power.
These include Danish developer GreenGo Energy's 35GW moon-shaped Megaton Moon project; CWP Global’s 16-20GW Aman project (which will require 30GW of renewables); and two 10GW facilities — Project Nour, being developed by TotalEnergies and Chariot Energy, and the other by UAE-based renewables developer Masdar, which is set to cost $34bn.
Coincidentally, German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck yesterday visited another North African state, Algeria, for talks on green hydrogen export.
In November last year, Germany pledged €4bn of support for energy projects — with a focus on green hydrogen — in Africa.