• Monday, July 22, 2024
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How Jeniks’ partnership with Qatar can unlock African gas potential

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In a move aimed at investing in the huge but largely untapped gas reserves in Africa, the investment arm of the Government of Qatar has entered into an agreement with Jeniks Energy Group aimed at investing in the sector. Dipo Oladehinde writes on the mutual benefits of the joint venture.

Africa boasts vast natural gas reserves, but many countries grapple with inadequate infrastructure and limited investment, hindering their ability to harness this abundant resource for domestic use and power generation.

To change the narrative Qatari government’s investment arm has entered into a strategic deal with the Jeniks Energy firm to invest in the African gas market.

Read also: FDI key to Africa’s gas reserves development, says SNEPCo MD

Findings showed the Jeniks Energy Group, which has major hubs in Ghana, Kenya and Egypt as well as Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have jumped to a global gas investment firm with the strategic Gas reserve and aggregation investment contract and the Qatari representation, choosing to work with them.

The corporation will, however, anchor the contract in Africa, having agreed to a phased operation last year. Jeniks, which inked the deal with Qatar, has chosen and started with 11 African countries in Africa, including Ghana as an anchor, as well as Kenya and Angola, for proper coordination of the multibillion-dollar operation.

Princes Osifo, the chairperson of Jeniks Group, has been working with a team of experts and consultants in the energy sector to actualise this massive gas investment deal estimated to be worth $15 billion, with the Qatar group investing an initial $6 billion for the take-off of the projects that are attracting Governments of Ghana, Kenya and several others who have already keyed into projects by agreeing to provide the enabling environments and other incentives which are expected to attract investments.

Further findings showed the Qatar Government Investment prioritised Gas Reserve Acquisition, Liquefied Natural Gas, and LPG projects in several African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Republic of Congo, Guinea Equatorial, Senegal, Gabon, Angola, Mozambique, and Tanzania. With others starting the first phase in the first quarter of 2024.

The chairperson of the Jeniks Group has also stated that the Qataris are interested in the Brass LNG project in Brass Bayelsa State, which has been a project of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and its Joint Venture Partners, as well as the acquisition of LNG boats for Gas Cargo transport.

Top energy officials stated that the selection of Jeniks Group is a significant endorsement of the company’s corporate leadership and the Africa gas and energy market as envisioned by the Qatari investor, who prefers a private sector-led initiative for the projects to get off the ground.

Jeniks Group had since 2021 inaugurated its West Africa Headquarters in Accra, Ghana, and another investment office in the United Arab Emirates to coordinate activities between the Qatar Group and some important Middle Eastern areas.

While the energy sector in Nigeria is about to take a quantum leap thanks to the emergence of Princess Osifo and Jeniks Group, the astute businesswoman has chosen to remain silent about these critical but strategic economic investments that will boost Nigeria’s revenue and job creation.

Findings showed the company has advanced in negotiations with a large oil corporation to purchase a productive oil well. The oil firm is selling part of its Nigerian assets, making room for local oil companies. Qatar is a global LNG investor, and the government’s involvement is strictly governed by global best practices and regulations.

Furthermore, this African-based investment decision was finalised during the First Quarter (Q1) of 2023, even though the investors had planned to reach a major milestone by the end of this month, with a series of meetings between Jeniks and the investors proceeding since last week.

Indeed, economic players think that this initiative comes at a time when global energy investment in renewable and clean energy technologies is critical, hence Jeniks’ choice to redirect its attention and strategic investments in gas. The significant commercial achievement is a private initiative between a group of Qatari investors and Jeniks, in addition to the 5 billion dollars promised to invest in Nigeria by the Middle Easterners in April of last year.

Officials confirmed Qatar’s commitment, explaining that there had been negotiations about partnering with their Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) for large investments in the $5 billion range. According to officials, Qatar is a strategic Middle Eastern country that might help Nigeria and other African countries reenergize their energy sectors.

The transaction being initiated by Jeniks and Qatar group will provide new opportunities in the exploration, infrastructure, and development of gas reserves in Nigeria and other African nations, in line with local players and Nigeria’s domestic gas utilisation agenda.

Furthermore, this will deepen natural gas utilisation, boosting investment in power and gas-based sectors. Nigeria has confirmed gas reserves of about 203 trillion Standard Cubic Feet, which are being monetised through the implementation of several policies and industry intervention schemes.

When the project is completed, the Nigeria National Petroleum Company will expand its gas operations and increase its export potential.

Qatar and Jeniks Energy Group are collaborating to realise a significant gas aggregation investment in the region, a strategic move the firms said will tap into the vast, yet largely untapped gas reserves across Africa.

The partnership, known as the Qatar-Jeniks Africa Gas Project, has extended its reach to 11 African countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Sierra Leone, Morocco, Egypt, and the Benin Republic. According to the firms, the initial phase also encompasses Mozambique, Rwanda, and Zambia.

Notably, Nigeria is a pivotal part of the deal, with advanced negotiations underway to solidify the country’s comprehensive plan for gas aggregation. According to analysts, over the past four years, Jeniks Energy Group, led by chairperson Princess Osifo, has made substantial progress alongside Qatari partners in coordinating the gas investment across the 11 selected African countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, and Angola.

Steve Ati, an expert in the oil and gas industry said Princess Osifo, along with a team of experts and consultants in the gas and energy sector, has been diligently working to actualise this multibillion-dollar gas investment deal.

He said Qatar has committed an initial investment of $9 billion to Kickstart the projects, garnering interest from various African governments. Top energy officials view the involvement of Jeniks Energy Group as a major endorsement of the corporate leadership’s potential and capacity in the African gas and energy market, as envisioned by Qatari investors seeking private sector-driven initiatives.

Abdulraheem Salisu, another energy expert said that as a global investor in the LNG market, Qatar’s government adheres to highly regulated global best practices and standards.

He said, ‘‘The African-based investment decision is projected for completion in the first quarter of 2022, with a major milestone expected before the end of the current month, marked by ongoing meetings between Jeniks and investors.

‘‘The project comes at a crucial time when global energy investment in renewable and clean energy technology is in high demand. Jeniks’ decision to refocus its attention and strategic investments in gas aligns with this global trend. This breakthrough, a private initiative between Qatari investors and Jeniks, adds to the Middle Eastern investment agreed upon for Nigeria in April of the previous year. The investment aims to re-energise the energy sector in Nigeria and other African countries, aligning with Nigeria’s domestic gas utilisation agenda.’’