Senegal: great expectations surround the future production of natural gas

In Senegal, the production of oil and gas expected since the discovery of several deposits between 2014 and 2016 will begin this year. An upheaval for the entire economy of the country. Natural gas promises many outlets, starting with a new source of electricity.

From our correspondent in Dakar,

Of the three main deposits, the Greater Ahmeyim Turtle or GTA project is the most advanced. Most of the gas from this site will be exported in liquid form to Europe from the end of the year. The Yaakar Teranga offshore field is dedicated to supplying Senegal exclusively.

The gas will be transformed into electricity by “gas to power” technology, as explained by Mohamed Abdallahi Seck of the Senegalese Association for the Development of Energy in Africa: “ Natural gas is mainly composed of methane, CH4, it is a fuel with which we produce heat in the turbines. And this heat is used to start the water vapour. And this steam will also turn the turbines. »

To do this, gas-fired power stations will be built, like Ndar Energy in the north of the country, with a capacity of 200 megawatts. Other plants currently running on fuel oil will be converted. In Senegal, 80% of electricity is produced from imported petroleum products. For Papa Daouda Diène of the NGO NRGI, the arrival of gas will have a positive impact on energy sovereignty. « We import fuel and it is subsidized. Using gas will significantly reduce subsidies which will leave fiscal space to devote investments to network extension etc. »

And it is the entire Senegalese economy that will be transformed, since the effect should also be felt on household budgets and on Senegalese industry. ” We can even anticipate reductions to final consumers of the order of 30% of what they typically pay », Details Mohamed Abdallahi Seck.

« And this will above all make it possible to move towards industrializationsays Awa Marie Coll Seck, president of the EITI committee for transparency in the extractive industries in Senegal. Whether in iron, food, petrochemicals, fertilizers. In fact, the processing industry. »

According to professionals in the sector, gas could represent up to 80% of the Senegalese energy mix in 20 years. NRGI warns of the risks of this new dependency, taking the example of Algeria. ” The case of Algeria… Policies have been known to encourage the use of gas and this has rubbed off on renewables. So renewables have been forgotten “, warns Papa Daouda Diene.

The World Bank estimates that the entry into production of hydrocarbon deposits should double the growth of the Senegalese economy between 2022 and 2024.

► To read also: Senegal trains for gas jobs

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