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Mauritania aims to be a major player in the global green hydrogen and steel markets. The country plans to produce 12.5 million tons of green hydrogen annually by 2035. By 2050, they aim for 1.5% of the global hydrogen market and 1% of the global green steel market.

Earlier this year, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed the importance of green hydrogen in this endeavor. She emphasized that green steel production hinges on green hydrogen, aligning the interests of Mauritania and Europe.

To accomplish this, Mauritania is concentrating on large-scale projects like GreenGo Energy’s 35 GW Megaton Moon and CWP’s 16-20 GW Aman. Additionally, TotalEnergies and Chariot are collaborating on a 10 GW Project Nour. Whereas, Infinity and Conjuncta are jointly developing another 10 GW facility.

Moreover, Mauritania boasts significant solar and wind energy potential, with approximately 457.9 GW for solar and 47 GW for wind projects. Its proximity to Europe offers export advantages and opportunities for local industry development and infrastructure enhancement.

Despite being Africa’s second-largest iron producer, Mauritania exports most iron ore in raw form. Expanding into green steel production could stimulate domestic manufacturing and exports to the EU.

Several green steel projects are underway, with Von der Leyen’s remarks likely to spur further investment. A memorandum of understanding was signed in December 2023 between Mauritania and the U.S. Department of Energy to evaluate carbon-free steel production capacity.

In 2022, SNIM and ArcelorMittal signed an MoU to assess the development of iron ore pelletizing and direct reduced iron plants. These projects aim to produce 2.5 million tons of green steel annually.

However, establishing a green steel industry requires substantial investment in infrastructure. Von der Leyen proposed using the EU’s €300 billion Global Gateway grant to fund road and power infrastructure projects in Mauritania, supporting the development of the green hydrogen sector.

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