Egyptian company, TAQA Arabia, has delivered its first five compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered vehicles in Equatorial Guinea as part of an agreement signed between the firm and the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons to collaborate on the development and expansion of the gas market in the central African country. The African Energy Chamber (AEC), as the voice of the African energy sector, would like to congratulate the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons and TAQA Arabia for the milestone achieved.
Following a relationship initiated by the two parties at Africa’s premier event for the oil and gas sector, African Energy Week (AEW) in 2021, H.E Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, and TAQA Arabia executives went on to sign an agreement to cooperate on infrastructure rollout including the construction of the Punta Europe CNG project and CNG supply stations for vehicles across Equatorial Guinea in March 2022.
With Equatorial Guinea seeking to maximize the production and exploitation of its 1.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves to address domestic energy needs as part of the county’s Gas Mega Hub ambitions, the AEC believes that the collaboration with TAQA is a positive step in unlocking improved domestic gas utilization. Recently, the country has been bullish in its approach to improving domestic gas capacity. Having extended exploration and production contracts for Block G with Trident Energy, Kosmos Energy, Panoro Energy, and GEPetrol in early May, the country is fast-tracking partnerships with independents, expanding its portfolio of proven gas reserves and production capacity. Now, with the partnership between Equatorial Guinea and TAQA, Equatorial Guinea is one step further to becoming a natural gas economy.
Moreover, with Equatorial Guinea targeting the expansion of its gas refinery capacity, increased penetration of CNG vehicles sets a precedent for downstream and middle-stream investment in Equatorial Guinea. With the country’s transport sector heavily reliant on diesel and petrol imports to meet its energy needs, increasing investments across the entire gas value chain will enable the exploitation of domestic gas resources to meet energy access and affordability issues whilst also ensuring energy independence through reductions in energy imports.
Additionally, powering the transport industry with gas will enable Equatorial Guinea to decarbonize its transport sector. In line with a target set by the government to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the collaboration with TAQA and the expansion of the country’s gas market enables Equatorial Guinea to align with a law that the government implemented in 2018. With H.E. Minister Lima prioritizing improved cooperation with regional counterparts and hydrocarbon producers such as Nigeria and Cameroon, the partnership with Egypt’s TAQA provides a blueprint of how Africa can take advantage of domestic innovation to address industry challenges and maximize the exploitation of its resources to make energy poverty history by 2030.
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