DOE, USEA prepare African gas projects resource options handbook

Two US Department of Energy offices and the US Energy Association have prepared a handbook to help policymakers consider domestic natural gas resource development options to facilitate LNG projects in Sub-Saharan African nations.

Understanding Natural Gas & LNG Options will be used as part of the US Agency for International Development’s Power Africa initiative to help give governments there broader access to electricity, DOE said on Dec. 14. Its International Affairs and Fossil Energy offices worked with USEA on the project, which received funding from the USAID.

Reliable electricity deliveries are essential to modern economies. Industrial activity and critical infrastructure from telecommunications to transportation rely on it, DOE noted. About two thirds of citizens in Sub-Saharan African countries presently don’t have access to it.

Natural gas could provide a cleaner and more reliable fuel source to generate electricity in those countries, according to DOE. “For those nations with gas resource potential, [LNG projects] can monetize the natural resource to fund the infrastructure for gas utilization and power generation,” it said. “LNG import or export trade can also promote economic growth through transparent integration into global and regional energy markets.”

The handbook will be part of Power Africa and DOE’s efforts to enable development of more gas-to-power projects in African countries which are considering or developing gas and related industries, DOE said.

It convened a diverse group of global experts to write the handbook, which it said “seeks to help create a shared understanding between government officials and companies of the technical, commercial, and economic factors that will spur investment in Africa’s gas and power sectors.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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