Germany seeks new hydrogen partnership with Nigeria

31 October 2023

News agency Clean Energy Wire reports that Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz met with president Bola Tinubu of Nigeria on 29 October in a bid to secure new energy and economic partnerships, and help diversify Germany's energy supply. "This is about gas, but also about hydrogen as the gas of the future – clean and climate-neutral," Scholz stated at a press conference. "We already operate a hydrogen office [in Nigeria] and also want to make progress overall in the expansion of renewable energies," he added.

There was also a prospect and a willingness to invest in critical minerals, Scholz said, but he stressed that the first processing stage at least should take place in the country of origin.

Despite being Africa’s largest oil exporter and having the largest natural gas reserves on the continent, Nigeria has not extracted at large scale and has a poorly developed gas network, reports German newspaper Tagesspiegel Background. "The chancellor and I had a very intensive discussion about this and we are ready to promote investments in gas pipelines," Tinubu said. If more gas from Nigeria reached the world market, there would be a dampening effect on the world market price, said Herr Scholz. Germany has previously been criticised by think tanks and NGOs for suggesting it should support Senegal in efforts to exploit fossil gas resources off its coast.

Russia’s war against Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis forced Germany to rethink its fuel dependence, leading the country to build liquefied natural gas import terminals on its coast. Germany is now keen to develop new partnerships and work more closely in the fields of energy and raw materials with, for example, the US, South America, Australia, Japan and Africa.

Image: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, left, is welcomed to Nigeria by the country's president, Bola Tinubu

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