African states eye EU gas opportunity from Ukraine crisis

(EurActiv, 25 Feb 2022) As the prospect of a squeeze on Russian gas supplies to Europe, EU states are increasingly likely to need an alternative. One option lies at its southern border.

Energy policy was one of the secondary items on the agenda at last week’s EU-African summit, where the EU promised a ‘partnership of equals’ with its southern neighbour continent. However, EU and several African leaders have already hinted at increasing supplies in recent weeks.

EU High Representative on Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, hinted at a change of tack when he revealed that the EU is negotiating with gas-producing countries, including Algeria, about expanding LNG supplies. With the Ukraine crisis putting Europe’s gas supply from Russia at risk, there is an opportunity for Africa’s gas producers, including Nigeria, Egypt, Mozambique, Tanzania and Ghana, to offer exports to Europe.

Days before the summit in Brussels, European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager and Nigerian vice president Yemi Osinbajo agreed to “explore all options for increased supply of Liquified Natural Gas from Nigeria to the EU”.

That marks a significant change in approach by Brussels. However, the Commission’s Vice-President Frans Timmermans has prioritised renewable energy and hydrogen exports from Africa and is reluctant to exempt the continent from the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism.

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EurActiv, 25 Feb 2022: African states eye EU gas opportunity from Ukraine crisis