BP is developing its interest in renewables in Mauritania through an agreement with the West African country’s government to explore large-scale green hydrogen development.

The parties signed a memorandum of understanding for green hydrogen in Mauritania in a week that coincided with Egypt hosting the COP27 climate conference.

The agreement states that BP will conduct studies to evaluate the technical and commercial feasibility of green hydrogen production in Mauritania, using water electrolysis powered by renewable energy, potentially from wind or solar resources.

BP already has a presence in the region with its Greater Tortue Ahmeyim phase one liquefied natural gas project offshore the border of Mauritania and Senegal. It is set to produce 2.3 million tonnes of LGN per year for more than 20 years.

“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,” said Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy for BP.

“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.”

Oil and gas companies have turned their attention to Africa as the region becomes the centre point for climate talks.

Total Eren, a TotalEnergies’ part-owned subsidiary, teamed up with renewable energy company Chariot Energy to develop a 10-gigawatt green hydrogen project in Mauritania.

Earlier this month, Chariot Energy also announced a collaboration with Oort Energy to test the scaling up potential of patented polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyser technology for green hydrogen and ammonia production in Morocco.

The agreement was signed by Mauritania’s President Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani and oil minister Abdessalam Ould Mohamed Saleh together with BP’s chief executive Bernard Looney and other executives from the UK company.

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