Mauritania has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UK oil and gas firm Chariot for a green hydrogen project of up to 10GW.
The Project Nour agreement covers feasibility studies for one offshore and two onshore areas covering 14,400km². Chariot would use the areas to develop 10GW of solar and wind capacity to feed electrolysers producing green hydrogen.
The deal gives Project Nour exclusive rights over the areas in the north-west of Mauritania, north-west Africa.
Chariot will use its existing team, which has experience in renewable projects in Africa, to examine wind and solar resources in the area – which it describes as “world class”. The company believes Mauritania has potential to become the cheapest green hydrogen producer in Africa and one of the world’s largest producers and exporters, given its proximity to European markets.
Meanwhile, a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) in June found that Mauritania is highly suitable for onshore solar and wind power development, with potential to develop up to 460GW of solar power and 47GW of wind power.
Production could displace fossil fuels in both power generation and chemicals manufacturing, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Chariot explained. If they decide to use offshore wind, it would be Africa’s first offshore wind farm.
Chariot stated that it is looking to bring in partners to form a consortium.
The upstream oil and gas company is already operating in Morocco, Namibia and Brazil.
Earlier this year, Mauritania signed a $40 billion deal for a 30GW wind and solar power-to-x project with Australian developer CWP Global in the Sahara, dubbed Project Aman.