Energy partnership with Africa – The solution to the gas crisis?

Düsseldorf, 06/04/2022: The Handelsblatt published a guest article by Stefan Liebing and Kay Pfaffenberger dealing with the current gas crisis due to the war in the Ukraine.

According to the article, about 500 billion cubic metres of gas are converted to LNG worldwide. Roughly 40 billion of this comes from Russian plants. Since 80 to 90 percent of the remainder is tied up in long-term contracts, this leaves, in theory, between 46 billion and 92 billion cubic metres. Germany would therefore have to buy up almost all of the currently available quantities worldwide in order to completely replace Russian supplies with LNG – which would be impossible. Nevertheless, Liebing and Pfaffenberger see the possibility of substituting about 10 percent of these quantities with LNG, around 5 billion cubic metres.
Africa would have competitive advantages due to its proximity to Europe and thus lower transport costs. LNG export facilities such as those in Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Angola would have the capacity to provide manageable quantities at short notice.

“In order to make use of these opportunities, however, timely solutions for financing are needed. In this regard, the federal government or, if necessary, private energy suppliers in Germany would have to make purchase commitments and provide guarantees so that the project can be realised quickly.”

For Liebing and Pfaffenberger, the development of a hydrogen economy in Africa also seems to be possible more rapidly than at least the longer-term new investment projects in fossil energy. Therefore, it should be reconsidered that the focus should not be even higher on the realisation of such green energy projects.
At the same time, this German-African energy partnership would enable concrete investments, jobs and development in Africa and simultaneously improve the security of supply in Germany.