Photo: Courtesy of BP

BP looking into large-scale hydrogen production in Mauritania

British energy company BP has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of Mauritania to explore the potential for large-scale production of green hydrogen in the country.

The MoU was signed on 8 November in a meeting alongside the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27).

Under the agreement, BP will carry out a number of studies to evaluate the technical and commercial feasibility of producing green hydrogen in Mauritania. Green hydrogen is produced by the electrolysis of water, powered by renewable energy.  

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BP will initially carry out a data collection campaign with studies assessing the suitability of wind and solar resources in selected locations for large-scale renewable power generation and green hydrogen production.   

The new deal builds on BP’s existing relationships with the country. The company and partners, including Mauritania’s Société Mauritanienne Des Hydrocarbures (SMH), are now working toward the completion of the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) Phase 1 liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

The development of this offshore project on the border of Mauritania and Senegal was approved in 2018.  It is set to produce around 2.3 million tonnes of LNG per year, with sufficient resources to support production for over 20 years.

Earlier this year, BP also announced the signature of an exploration and production sharing contract for the BirAllah gas resource in Mauritania.   

Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, BP’s executive vice president of gas and low-carbon energy, said: “We are already developing one of the world’s most innovative gas projects with the support of the Mauritanian government. And we now intend to expand our partnership into low-carbon energy by exploring the potential for a world-leading green hydrogen development, which could position Mauritania at the forefront of the energy transition.

“Together with the Mauritanian Government, we will now work to understand how green hydrogen could best be delivered, applying our technical skills and expertise to help unlock the country’s clean energy potential.”

Positioning hydrogen as one of its five energy transition growth engines, BP is working on a number of options for the development of green and blue hydrogen projects in markets worldwide, including developments in the UK, Netherland, Germany, Spain, Middle East, US and Australia.

It recently acquired a 40.5% equity stake and operatorship of the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH), which has the potential to be one of the largest renewables and green hydrogen hubs in the world.