AGI – Algeria and Egypt before Easter, Congo and Angola this week, Mozambique in May: Italy has launched a diplomatic offensive in Africa to get out of its situation of dependence on Russian gas., diversifying its supplier portfolio as quickly as possible. Prime Minister Mario Draghi himself has repeatedly reiterated the objective of no longer depending on Moscow and for that purpose he had to travel to Luanda today and to Brazzaville tomorrow to conclude the new supply contracts.
Having tested positive for Covid, the diplomatic mission was headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio and the owner of Transição Ecológica, Roberto Cingolani, accompanied by the CEO of Eni, Claudio Descalzi. And indeed, precisely to strengthen cooperation in the energy sector, Rome is using the excellent reports that the Italian energy group built on 69 years of presence in Africawhere it is a leader in both production and reserves.
In particular, after signing in Luanda, the delegation left for Brazzaville, Congo, to sign a new Declaration of Intent. It will arrive tonight, but official meetings are scheduled for tomorrow morning.
The Italian government’s intention is also to develop a project already started by Eni in Congo, thus trying to make our country independent of Gazprom’s supplies even before finding a unique position in Europe on the payment of supplies. Last year, the Russian energy giant secured more than 29 billion cubic meters of methane. Additional gas from the Angolan and Congolese fields would come in the form of LNG, liquefied natural gas, so the Italian government is also working on making greater use of the gasification terminals, which currently have three in Italy.
In addition, Eni’s plans foresee a growth in investments and activities in African countries in the coming years: south of the Sahara Eni’s main hubs are located in Congo, Angola, Nigeria and Mozambique, areas where mining activities have increased considerably. In 2020, the annual gas production of the company led by Descalzi was 1.4 billion cubic meters while that of hydrocarbons totaled 27 million boe.
Tomorrow the Italian delegation will start at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Congo, where Minister Jean-Claude Gakosso will be waiting. A meeting between Gakosso and the two Italian ministers is scheduled to follow. The Declaration of Intent will then be signed (Minister Cingolani and the Congolese Hydrocarbons Minister Bruno Jean Richard Itoua) and then an energy agreement (the CEO of Eni Descalzi and the Congolese Hydrocarbons Minister Itoua will sign). In the end, the usual family photo in the atrium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Congo.
Subsequently, the Italian delegation will travel to the Presidential Palace to meet with the President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou N’Guesso.