Germany wants to pursue gas projects with Senegal, says Scholz on first Africa tour

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DAKAR/BERLIN, May 22 (Reuters) – Germany wants to intensively pursue gas and renewable energy projects with Senegal, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday during his first trip to Africa, amid war in Ukraine and its impact on energy and food prices.

Scholz kicked off the three-day tour in Senegal, which has billions of cubic meters of gas reserves and is expected to become a major gas producer in the region.

Germany is seeking to reduce its heavy reliance on Russia for gas following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. He has started talks with Senegalese authorities about gas extraction and liquefied natural gas, Scholz said.

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“This is an issue that deserves to be pursued intensively,” he told a press conference with Senegalese President Macky Sall, adding that progress in the talks was in the common interest. of both countries.

Scholz said Germany was also interested in Senegalese renewable energy projects. He did not provide further details.

On Friday, a German government official said Germany could help explore a gas field in Senegal. Read more

Sall said Senegal was ready to work to supply the European market with LNG. It predicts that Senegal’s LNG production will reach 2.5 million tonnes next year and 10 million tonnes by 2030.

In terms of gas exploration, project financing and other issues, “all of this is open, and we want to work with Germany in this context,” Sall said.

UKRAINE WAR

Germany has invited Senegal, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the African Union, and South Africa to participate in the G7 summit it is hosting in June as guest countries.

Both countries abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a special military operation to demilitarize a neighbor it says threatens its security.

Ukraine and its allies say the war is an act of unprovoked aggression.

Speaking as chairperson of the African Union, Sall said many African countries did not want to take sides in the war, while condemning the invasion.

“Very clearly, we want peace,” he said, “we are working for de-escalation, we are working for a ceasefire, for dialogue…that is the African position.”

Sal said he will visit Moscow and Kyiv in the coming weeks.

The conflict in Ukraine, a major supplier of grain and food, has caused supply disruptions that have driven up food and energy prices in Africa.

“I have conveyed to Chancellor Scholz our grave concern about the impact of the war,” Sall said, asking for international help to mitigate the fallout for African countries.

Scholz will travel to Niger later on Sunday, from where he will fly to Johannesburg on Monday evening for the final leg of his tour.

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Additional reporting by Alessandra Prentice and Ludwig Burger Editing by Frank Jack Daniel

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