The Minister of Petroleum Signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the US Deputy Secretary of Energy in the Field of Clean Energy

The Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy, Mr. Nani Ould Chrougha, and the US Deputy Secretary of Energy, David Turk, signed on Monday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a historic memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of clean energy.

This MoU will facilitate cooperation on the introduction of clean energy technologies in Mauritania to contribute to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and stimulating economic development.

Shortly after the signing, Minister Çavuşoğlu held a meeting with the US side, in the presence of the Managing Director of SNEEM, to discuss practical measures to implement the MoU, especially with regard to the exploitation of steel.

The first phase of the MoU’s implementation will focus on enabling Mauritania to retain iron ore – which is primarily exported for carbon-intensive steel production in other countries – and instead embark domestically on its own production of “green” or carbon-free steel, moving to the top level of the world’s value chains.

Delivering this energy to international markets in the form of energy-intensive goods, such as steel or ammonia, can contribute to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in some hard-to-clean sectors, while driving transformative domestic economic development, and reducing the country’s energy poverty.

On the occasion of the signing, Minister Çavuşoğlu stressed that “Mauritania is determined to push the steel industry towards downstream industries, by leveraging the technology of the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the US Department of Energy and the long and rich experience of SNEEM, whose CEO is with us today to attend the signing.”

“The rapid deployment of clean energy technologies internationally is essential to address the climate crisis, and Mauritania has enormous potential for low-cost, zero-emission electricity production thanks to its large world-class wind and solar resources,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy David Türk.

Under the MoU, the early-stage collaboration will enable the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and supporting companies to assess the technical and economic potential of carbon-free steel production in Mauritania.

NREL’s lab analysis will focus on the possibility of converting Mauritanian iron ore into steel using a new molten oxide electrolysis technology developed with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Thanks to electricity generated through the exploitation of Mauritania’s wind and solar resources, all carbon dioxide emissions from the conversion of Mauritania’s iron ore into steel are likely to be eliminated.

The two signatory parties expressed their satisfaction at the start of their cooperation at this high level in the field of clean energy, and look forward to realizing abundant potential for future cooperation in other energy and mineral projects.

Mauritania has world-class wind and solar resources over a vast territory capable of hosting generating plants located near the Atlantic coast, enhancing its capacity to generate renewable electricity on a large scale at a relatively low cost.

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