A Project to Light Up Central Africa by 2030
The rates of electrification in Africa are appallingly low. A total of 580 million Africans lack electricity, according to the International Energy Organization, and the worst affected countries are in Central Africa. In Niger, only 3 % of the population has access to electricity; in Chad 9%; in Liberia 11%; in Burkina Faso 20%; in Mauritania 30% and Mali 40%, while most others are between 30 and 60%. Only South Africa can provide electricity to 95% of its population.
That points to the importance of a memorandum of understanding, that was signed last September at the meeting of the Central Africa Business Forum (CABEF), to make the Central Africa region an “energy poverty free zone” by 2030. The signatories included the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO), Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Africa’s second biggest oil producer, Angola. The idea is to create a Central African Pipeline System, which would distribute energy throughout the region, rather than exporting it to Europe and the West, and using most of the revenues to pay off foreign debt. The project would entail laying 6,500 kilometers of new pipeline, initially across ll African countries, as well as constructing gas-fired power stations, refineries and gas liquification plants. The energy generated would bring power to homes, businesses, new industries, including the processing of resources such as iron ore, bauxite, copper, etc., which are now exported with no processing.
In Central Africa alone, oil reserves are estimated at more than 31 billion barrels. In fact, five of the ten largest oil reserves on the continent are located there (Gabon, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Chad and Angola). There is significant involvement of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) in many of the countries in the region.,
Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, laid out a timeline for the project during a meeting organized by the African Energy Chambers at the end of last year. His country and Cameroon are working on the first phase, which will connect through Chad, while “the DRC would connect through Angola and Central Africa, as they are already providing products through that direction”, he explained.
In an obviously related development, Chad passed legislation last March to nationalize the country’s hydro-carbon sector, after ExxonMobile pulled out of the country. While the latter had sold its concession to the London based Sahara Energy for over $400 million, the deal was deemed illegal by the Chad government, which has threatened to expropriate these assets.
While the plan is initially concerned with Central Africa, it will without doubt serve as an example for other hydro-carbon producers such as Niger, which could join in. Egypt, a significant gas producer, implemented a similar policy in 2018, with Germany’s Siemens constructing the world’s largest combine cycle gas fired power station of no less that 14.5 gigawatts.
The Central African Pipeline threatens to overturn the European Union’s policy of energy independence from Russia, as well as the EU’s fantasies of turning Africa into a green energy paradise — not for Africans, but for Europe, as per their murderous climate change policy.
Already, the environmentalists have attacked the plan, led by the South Africa-based Africa Climate Foundation, which received, in the last year alone, $6.5 million from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.