Top Five Infrastructure Projects Underway in West Africa

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Over the course of 2022-2023, west African countries are aiming to consolidate a post-COVID-19 economic recovery on the back of stronger energy prices and increasing flows of Foreign Direct Investment. But in order to meet robust growth forecasts and the demands of a young and rapidly growing middle class, various countries throughout the region are investing in major infrastructure upgrades to boost connectivity and further improve the overall competitiveness of each country’s economy. There are significant projects taking place in west Africa in established oil and gas producing markets such as Ghana and Nigeria, as well as emerging producers from the MSGBC Basin.

Dangote Petroleum Refinery – Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria has long been a heavyweight in sub-Saharan Africa’s oil and gas sector but the country’s vast economic potential has not been fully exploited due to insufficient infrastructure upgrades in recent years. This is now changing thanks to the Dangote Oil Refinery.

The landmark $14 billion refinery project is set to become one the world’s largest single oil refineries. Located in the Lekki Free Zone near Nigeria’s commercial hub in Lagos it is a 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) integrated refinery project – considered Africa’s biggest oil refinery to date and the world’s largest single-train facility. The pipeline infrastructure involves 1,100km that will be able to handle three billion standard cubic feet of gas per day.

What’s more, the refinery has its own 400 MW power plant that is able to meet the power demand of such a large-scale project. In addition to meeting 100% of the Nigerian requirement of all refined products, the refinery will have a surplus that will be exported to international markets.

Mambilla Power Plant – Kakara Village, Nigeria

Constructed by a Chinese consortium led by the Gzhouba Group, Nigeria’s largest power plant – the Mambilla Power Plant – is expected to be completed in 2030. Expected to produce approximately 3,050MW of power, the $6 billion project, located on the Dongo River will comprise four dams and two underground power stations with 12 turbine generators. Upon completion, the project will help power 700km of transmission lines across Nigeria, doubling the country’s total electric power production capacity.

The lack of a reliable electrical supply grid has and continues to hinder the rapid development of Nigeria’s industrial sector. Once the Mambilla Power Plant is connected to the national grid, it will boost capacity by 80%.

Marine Drive Project – Accra, Ghana

Over the past decade, Ghana has become an increasingly important player in west-Africa’s oil and gas sector thanks to a number of large-scale offshore oil and gas discoveries such as the Jubilee field. But other sectors such as tourism and infrastructure are also supporting the growth of the Ghanaian economy. Notably, the Marine Drive Project, a $1.2 billion infrastructure project funded by the World Bank, comprises a 240-acre resort with facilities such as hotels, shopping malls, casinos, water parks, and conference and exhibition centers.

The idea behind the project is to establish an iconic skyline for Accra and transform the capital’s city center into a world-class tourism enclave. The Marine Drive Tourism Project represents the single largest tourism investment project to be initiated by the Government of Ghana since Independence.

Lekki Deepsea Port – Lagos, Nigeria

The Lekki Deep Seaport – which will be the deepest in sub-Saharan Africa – comprises a $1.2 billion infrastructure project currently underway in the Ibeju-Lekki axis of Lagos State, Nigeria. Representing one of the single largest projects of its kind being undertaken to date in west Africa, the project comprises a multi-purpose deep seaport.

Located at the very heart of the Lagos Free Trade Zone, the multipurpose port aims to increase Nigeria´s commercial operations across West Africa and boost the country’s global trading potential. Set to become one of the most modern ports in the region, the port is designed to handle four million metric tons of dry goods per annum; expected to generate an estimated revenue of $361 billion; and create up to 170,000 new jobs. It is due to be completed over the course of 2022.

Grand Tortue Ahmeyim – Offshore Waters of Senegal and Mauritania

Another important large-scale project in west Africa is the Grand Tortue Ahmeyim, (GTA) project, one of the most important Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects currently underway in the region. Thanks to large-scale offshore gas reserves located between the two countries, Mauritania and Senegal are positioning themselves as two of west Africa’s newest natural gas producers. The massive GTA LNG project is the deepest offshore LNG project in sub-Saharan Africa, and is set to unlock approximately 15 trillion cubic feet of gas. Jointly developed by BP, Kosmos Energy, Société des Pétroles du Senegal (Petrosen), and Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures (SMHPM), BP is the operator of the project.

Critical insight regarding this project was provided by regional leaders and global majors at the first edition of the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power conference in Dakar, Senegal in 2021. With the second edition of MSGBC, Oil, Gas & Power scheduled to take place over the course of 2022, further insight, critical updates, and new opportunities will be provided.

With the MSGBC region’s first oil and gas set to come on stream over the course of 2022-2023, key players in energy, power-generation, infrastructure, finance and oilfield services will again meet in Dakar to explore the multiple investment opportunities in the MSGBC and wider west African region. With a number of other large-scale projects currently underway in the region – including Senegal’s ‘Port of the Future’ – MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022 will be instrumental in securing further investment, engaging with global stakeholders, and driving the region into a new era of enhanced energy and economic growth.

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Miguel Artacho

Miguel Artacho

Miguel is ECP's International Conference Director. Miguel is a forward-thinking communications professional currently specializing in the energy sector. Adept at developing engagement strategies and building relationships. He is known for working ethically and effectively with internal and external stakeholders to further the business goals.

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