An impressive group of several partners, including European businesses in energy, electrolysers and steel, with the support of the European Investment Bank, have inaugurated a project aimed at building a green hydrogen system to produce “green steel” in Mauritania.
The European Green Deal is the EU-wide ambitious long-term strategy to make the continent climate neutral by 2050 while growing the member states’ clean and circular economy; a vital part in this kind of economic growth is green hydrogen.
The hydrogen statistics is impressive: presently, the European Union intends to produce 10 million tones of green hydrogen by 2030. At the same time, for a proper functioning of circular economy the EU member states have import another 10 million tones of green hydrogen during next five-six years.
For this to accomplish, both the member states and the EU have to work very hard; besides, the project needs cooperative partners abroad. To facilitate this shared ambition outside Europe, the EU has created the investment plan called the Global Gateway to mobilise up to € 300 billion worldwide for sustainable and high-quality projects in partner countries. And here, Mauritania comes into play…
The Mauritania’s case
Mauritania is blessed with resources: i.e. with the space, sun and wind; supplied with the right investment and infrastructure, this country can harness over 350 gigawatts of renewable energy only from wind and sun.
But that is not all: Mauritania is also Africa’s second largest iron producer; but the majority of iron is exported as the raw ore.
If the partners can “arrange” clean energy for the project, the processing into green steel could stay in Mauritania, which can export iron and premium green steel: it is a huge step in the right direction, as it provides for the added value, additional workforce and, finally, the national well-being.
Presently, the necessary technology is available for the project’s implementation: i.e. for the production of green steel with the essential energy input, which is the green hydrogen. And that is why hydrogen is so important both for Mauritania but also for European economy: both sides share common interests. Thus, it would be a source of revenue domestically and an export product for the European Union states and elsewhere.
Team Europe initiative
Team Europe initiative, which originated from Spain, France, Germany, the EU institutions, the European Investment Bank and the Hydrogen Europe project, etc. has been a driving force to support the endeavor.
Presently, the EU is stepping up the Global Gateway long term program and facilities. For the time being, main efforts are concentrated on the African continent, e.g. because demand for Mauritania’s green hydrogen and potentially green steel will set to grow exponentially in the European Single Market. The demand is huge and it is going to be advantageous for all sort of corporate activities. Besides, it is important that the European Union’s Team Europe will support building the necessary infrastructure and train the local workforce: both the local and the EU companies are looking and waiting for.
The endeavor will not only create local jobs, but also establish the legal framework to facilitate a conducive framework for the private sector to perform the project in the most efficient and good way. The EU, in its side, will support in training the workforce, creating a feasible environment and building necessary infrastructure.
On Global Gateway
Global Gateway is a new European strategy launched it in 2021 to boost smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport sectors, as well as to strengthen health, education and research systems across the world.
Basically, the Global Gateway aims to mobilise up to €300 billion in investments through a Team Europe approach, bringing together the EU institutions, the member states and their financial and development facilities.
It seeks a transformational impact in the digital, climate and energy, transport, health, education and research sectors. The focus is on smart investments in quality infrastructure, respecting the highest social and environmental standards, in line with the EU’s interests and values: i.e. the rule of law, human rights, international norms and standards.
Presently, sustainability and the “green deal” have become vital parts of the Global Gateway.