Italy’s Eni plans to invest about $22.5b in Africa over the next four years, mostly in the oil and gas industry, the company’s CEO, Claudio Descalzi, said in a presentation at the International Energy Agency in Paris, Reuters reported. According to the CEO, the amount represents about 60% of the company’s investments over the given period.
“In the long-term we are going to invest much more to develop the giant gas fields that we have found,” he said. Eni has made major gas discoveries especially in Mozambique and recently in Egypt.
Descalzi lamented that despite these discoveries, the abundant energy potential and Africa’s steady economic growth, access to energy on the continent remained poor. Currently, the Italian company is involved in projects in 15 African countries, and it is seeking to boost and diversify the continent’s energy mix through investments in renewables. In fact, Africa’s energy mix has remained unchanged over the past 10 years and is unsustainable, with biomass for cooking still the main source, Descalzi said as The Africa Report wrote.
“The top priority should be to build an energy model that can support demographic growth. These are the main points we are discussing with different governments,” Descalzi said. Currently, hydro power produces only 1% of electricity and renewables contribute just about 0.3% although there is a huge renewables potentials that is unexploited. In his opinion, Africa’s solar power potential was about 300,000 GW, wind about 7,000 GW, hydro about 283 GW and geothermal about 15 GW.