A number of major projects underway in Senegal are set to transform the West African country’s economy over the course of the next five years. The massive oil and gas reserves of over 1 billion barrels located offshore between Senegal and Mauritania are putting the country on the map as a major new hydrocarbon producing nation.
Over the course of 2014-2017 over 40 billion cubic feet of natural gas was located in the area which has now become the Grande Tortue Ahmeyim LNG project, the deepest offshore gas project currently underway in sub-Saharan Africa. As reported in the October edition of African Business, a major find by British oil major BP and U.S.-based operator Kosmos Energy has led to the development of the $4.8 billion project, which has a whopping 15 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas reserves.
H.E. President Macky Sall has made it clear from the outset that the vast hydrocarbon resources discovered will be used to fast-track socioeconomic development, not to enrich a few at the very top. His vision is articulated in the Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE) by developing the burgeoning energy sector, which is one of the PSE’s cornerstones. There is a zero-tolerance policy for corruption in Senegal and year-on-year there is a continuing emphasis on ensuring the utmost transparency in the extractive industries sector.
There are robust legal requirements for oil companies to make use of local personnel and suppliers. In addition, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energies is making concerted efforts to continue improving the ways that Senegal’s oil and gas revenues can be shared in a transparent and equitable manner to support the country’s long-term growth. The Minister of Petroleum and Energies, H.E. Sophie Gladima, has emphasized that Senegal is looking not just to boost the development of the oil and gas sector, but also to develop new industries that are linked to hydrocarbons such as petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers as well as a broad utilization of gas-to-power projects to lower the costs of production of sectors such as automotive manufacturing and mining by using abundant natural gas that is coming over the course of 2023-2024.
Meanwhile, investors are increasingly taking note and flocking to Dakar, which has long been a strategic regional trade hub. The Port of Dakar is an economic engine, processing goods from huge landlocked countries like neighboring Mali, but it is becoming increasingly congested. That is why last year Port Operator DP World announced plans to build a massive $1.1bn deep-water port located 50km away from Dakar, in the Dubai-based company’s biggest African project to date. This major investment is set to be as big a success as the Blaise Diagne International Airport, a $619m project inaugurated back in 2017. Large-scale infrastructure projects have been a hallmark of the administration of H.E. President Macky Sall, and by any estimates, they will only accelerate and grow in number once oil and gas revenue begins flowing in 2023-2024.
The major players in national, regional, and international players active in: oil and gas, infrastructure, maritime logistics and services are all set to meet at the upcoming MSGBC, Oil, Gas & Power 2021 taking place in Dakar, Senegal from 16-17th of December.