London-listed company Chariot is exploring a potential 10 gigawatt green hydrogen development in Mauritania.

Chariot revealed this week it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mauritanian government to progress the potential green hydrogen project, which is named Project Nour.

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The proposed project covers an exclusive onshore and offshore area, totalling about 14,400 square kilometres, and Chariot intends to carry out pre-feasibility and feasibility studies into the potential up to 10GW project, which it intends to power from both solar and wind resources.

Chariot believes Mauritania possess “world class solar and wind resources” that will allow it to produce the cheapest green hydrogen in Africa, with the nation’s close proximity to potential large European markets opening up export opportunities.

Green vs Blue

Blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas feedstocks, with the carbon dioxide by-product from hydrogen production captured and stored. However, the process is not emissions free.

Green hydrogen is made using electrolysis powered by renewable energy to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, creating an emissions-free fuel.

Chariot said Monday it would deploy a team “immediately” to assess the wind and solar resources at the proposed project site, environmental impact as well as carry out macroeconomic and social impact studies.

"Developing Mauritania's green hydrogen industry promises to bring a combination of environmental, economic and social benefits to our country,” said Mauritania's Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy, Abdessalam Ould Mohamed Saleh.

“We have the potential, and desire, to be a world leader in the field of hydrogen production from renewable energy sources. The Ministry is pleased to have signed this agreement with Chariot and hopes for a long and rewarding partnership."

Making the transition

Chariot was established in 2007 and has traditionally been an oil and gas focused company, targeting underexplored deep-water regions of the Atlantic margin, namely offshore Morocco, Namibia and Brazil.

However, earlier this year it dropped Oil & Gas from the company name as it looks to target opportunities in the energy transition.

In March it purchased renewable and hybrid energy project developer Africa Energy Management Platform, which has an ongoing strategic partnership with Total Eren.

Last year, acting chief executive, and company co-founder, Adonis Pouroulis, told Upstream Chariot intended to leverage its existing footprint in Africa, while looking to potentially target batteries, wind and solar, as part of its energy transition plans.