Senegalese President Macky Sall’s 12-year tenure is set to come to an end on 2 April this year. As he leaves his term in office, he also leaves behind a legacy of economic growth and development, and other African states stand to learn from his pro-energy growth approach.

As the voice of the African energy sector, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) commends the work undertaken by President Sall to strengthen the Senegalese economy. The president remains a close friend of the AEC and of Africa.

President Sall’s tenure was defined by a commitment to making energy poverty history through the development of resources and investment into every segment of the country’s economy. Unashamed in his approach to supporting industrialisation and energy access, he laid the foundation for all forms of energy to be developed. Under his leadership, the country has seen success after success. He has defended the African oil & gas sector, and has put Senegal on the path toward prosperity.

Senegal is on track for first gas production from the first phase of the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) development by Q3 this year. The project is currently 92% complete and the FPSO vessel is expected to be on site soon. The first phase will produce 2.3 million tonnes of gas per year and is being developed by global energy majors bp and Kosmos Energy in collaboration with Senegalese national oil company Petrosen and its Mauritanian counterpart, Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures.

Meanwhile, the country’s inaugural oil development – the Sangomar oilfield project – is 95% complete and is expected to start production between May and July 2024. The FPSO vessel arrived at the project site in February 2024. The project’s production capacity is 100 000 barrels per day and it is being developed by oil & gas company Woodside Energy in collaboration with Petrosen.

The success of these projects has already laid the foundation for a wave of new developments offshore Senegal. Serving as one of the world’s largest gas discoveries in recent years, Senegal’s Yakaar-Teranga development holds an estimated 25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. Kosmos Energy is set to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility for the project, with a capacity to produce 550 million cubic feet of gas per day. Currently, the concept for the LNG facility is being finalised. Kosmos Energy assumed operatorship of the Yakaar-Teranga project in 2023, thereby strengthening its presence in the country’s offshore gas sector.

Senegal was also recently granted observer membership status within the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, marking its entry into the esteemed organisation. Signalling the future role the country will play in global gas markets, the milestone showcases a commitment by Senegal to industry collaboration.

“President Sall’s commitment to development is clear through the achievements seen across the country’s oil & gas industry. Spearheading collaboration with regional government and international partners, President Sall has made Senegal’s business environment both attractive and competitive, and now, the country is well positioned to drive long-term and sustainable growth, driven by oil and gas,” states NJ Ayuk, executive chairperson of the AEC.

To maintain development momentum, the country is inviting global and regional exploration & production companies to invest in exploration, with seismic data and studies available to support offshore drilling. According to Petrosen, Senegal currently has 16 offshore blocks and five onshore blocks available, with hydrocarbon discoveries having already been made in some. Senegal offers competitive fiscal terms for operators and has emerged as one of the most attractive oil & gas investment destinations owing largely to efforts by President Sall.

Beyond the oil & gas industry, Senegal has seen a strong pipeline of renewable energy and power generation projects kick off. With some of the lowest energy prices in Africa, the country is committed to achieving universal access to electricity by 2025, and various projects are underway to achieve this. A focus on gas-to-power is poised to enhance generation capacity, led by projects such as the Cap des Biches combined-cycle power project (300MW). The country’s first utility-scale wind project – the 158MW Taiba N’Diaye wind farm – is also responsible for 15% of the country’s electricity output.

“President Macky Sall has been unashamed about supporting Africa’s development and it has been an honour working with him and following his pro-growth energy agenda. Thanks to his leadership, Senegal is emerging as an energy champion. His years of service to both Senegal and Africa have been amazing. He will go down in history as one of the greatest African leaders of our time,” adds Ayuk.

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