German leader starts Africa tour in Senegal, keen on investment in gas projects
Germany wants to intensively pursue gas and renewable energy projects with Senegal, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday during his first trip to Africa, against the backdrop of the 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 metres 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 conflict Ukraine. It has initiated talks with the Senegalese authorities about gas extraction and liquified natural gas, Scholz said.
"It is a matter worth pursuing intensively," he said at a news conference with Senegalese President Macky Sall, adding that progress in the talks was in the two countries common interest.
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.
Sall said Senegal was ready to work towards supplying the European market with LNG. He forecast Senegal's LNG output reaching 2.5 million tonnes next year and 10 million tonnes by 2030.
In terms of gas exploration, project financing and other questions, "all that is open, and we are keen to work with Germany in this context," Sall said.
Germany has invited both Senegal, which currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the African Union, and South Africa to attend the G7 summit it is hosting in June as guest countries.