Investing in geothermal energy
Comoros has an estimated geothermal potential of 45MW located in the zone north of the Karthala. Following the energy difficulties that have been suffocating the country's economy for decades, the government has taken the initiative to diversify the energy sector with more stable and economical renewable energies.
Thus, the development of geothermal energy remains one of the adequate options to meet the energy needs of the country. Its development involves four main steps. These are to carry out the surface studies, carry out the test drilling, carry out the production drilling and install the geothermal power plant.
The first and second stages are risky phases for the development of geothermal energy. This is why the government requested and obtained financial support from the African Union (AU), New Zealand and UNDP for the realization of the first stage with the technical support of the Geological Bureau of Comoros and JACOBS, a New Zealand consulting firm. This step allowed the conception of the geothermal system model (click here).
The second stage of the program (test drilling) was funded by the AU, GEF and UNDP. Part of this funding is helping the government develop a policy and regulatory framework conducive to the development and use of geothermal energy in Comoros in order to secure and promote investment in the sector.
The State holds the property rights and can consider public-private partnerships (PPPs). Such PPPs would be desirable, particularly for operations.
The government is seeking to mobilize USD 36.5 million to carry out the test drilling phase and USD 74 million for the installation of the first 10 MW geothermal power plant.
To promote geothermal energy, the Government will develop a clear legal and regulatory framework for geothermal and renewable energy including:
- An institutional framework for investors;
- Measures to protect investments in the geothermal sector;
- Incentives in the energy sector, including a policy of Feed-in Tariffs (FIT)
The specific objectives of this FIT mechanism are to :
- Facilitate resource mobilization by providing investment guarantees and ensuring market stability for geothermal investors;
- Reduce transactional and administrative costs and shorten conventional bidding times;
- Encourage private investors to operate their plants efficiently to maximize their returns.
Investing in the oil sector
Investment climate in the oil sector in the Union of Comoros.
The oil sector in the Union of Comoros is governed by Law No. 12-019/AU of 27 December 2012 on the oil code of the Union of Comoros, and by Decree No. 13-030/PR of 7 March 2013 on the implementation of the oil code. This law guarantees the security, competitiveness of the oil sector and is attractive and in line with the general guidelines of international oil law.
The oil sector is open to any oil company (or consortium) wishing to invest in the sector. The Geological Bureau of Comoros (GBC) is the government institution in charge of facilitating administrative and technical procedures for investors in the sector and ensuring compliance with contracts and the oil code.
The oil potential of Comoros is currently underestimated. Indeed, out of the 40 blocks of the Comorian offshore, only 6 are under exploration and evaluation.
It is in this context that the country must encourage the promotion of investment in the oil sector.
Types of contracts
In accordance with the Oil Code and its implementing regulations in the Union of Comoros, there is one type of oil contract (Production Sharing Contract - PSC) and several authorizations in the sector, including the prospecting authorization.
- Production Sharing Contract (PSC)
The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) is a oil contract concluded between the Government and a contractor which may be an oil company or a consortium of commercial companies, at least one of which is an oil company
To date, the Government has signed three oil contracts with :
- The consortium "Discover Exploration ComorosBV" and "Bahari Resources LTD
- The consortium "Safari Petroleum Indian Ocean Limited" and "Western Energy East Africa Limited";
- The company Rhino Resources Comoros Limited,
- Prospecting Contract (prospecting license):
The exploration authorization is a contract signed between the Government and a natural or legal person by an order of the Minister in charge of Oil and Gas, which sets out the conditions.
Currently, two exploration contracts have been signed between the Government and the company GX-Technology Corporation on the one hand and the Compagnie Générale de Géophysique (CGG) on the other hand.
The EAST AFRICASPAN seismic program has allowed the company GX-Technology corporation to acquire nearly 10,000 km of multi-client 2D seismic data in the Comorian offshore.
The Compagnie Générale de Géophysique (CGG) also intends to acquire 2643 km of 2D seismic data still in the Comorian offshore.
The following figure shows all the seismic lines acquired and available in the Union of Comoros.
Procedures for obtaining oil contracts
Steps to obtain an oil contract:
- The oil company submits an application to the Minister in charge of Oil and Gas;
- This application is transferred to the Geological Bureau of Comoros (GBC) for evaluation;
- An evaluation report is transmitted by the GBC to the Minister in charge of Oil and Gas;
- After approval by the Minister, the GBC starts negotiations with the oil company to establish the Contract;
- The Minister presents the draft Contract to the Council of Ministers;
- After approval by the Council of Ministers, the Minister in charge of Oil and Gas signs the contract with the oil company.
- The Contract is submitted for examination and approval by the Parliament of the Union of Comoros.
- After approval, the contract is submitted to the President of the Republic for promulgation.
Invest in waste recovery
In order to get out of the energy crisis that has been suffocating the economy of the Union of Comoros for decades and to respect the commitments made in 2015 during the COP21, by the Comorian State towards an energy transition and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the GBC has proposed the idea of waste-to-energy in Comoros.
A pilot project, Realization of a micro power plant based on biogas produced by the anaerobic fermentation of biodegradable waste, was launched by the GNC in collaboration with the Moroni City Council. This project is co-financed by the GBC and the IOC/EU. The necessary equipment for the pilot project is available. The large-scale production of biogas requires the involvement of potential investors.
Surveys conducted in collaboration with the municipalities have allowed for the estimation of tonnage, identification of illegal dumpsites (photos) and potential sites for the location of waste processing and valorization units.
Studies on the location of garbage receptacles are also being conducted in Moroni.
Within the framework of this project, awareness campaigns on the population and the Comorian and international authorities have marked the sector. Thanks also to the facilitation of procedures by the Comorian authorities, many potential investors have started to show their interest in the sector
Invest in the mining sector
Studies on the evaluation and inventory of Comorian soil and subsurface mining resources were carried out in 2009 by the Iranian company Parskani Co. The results of these studies revealed considerable resource potential. These are mainly sand olivines, heavy metals (spinel particles, corundum particles), pozzolan deposits, Red Earth laterite deposits, bauxite deposits, etc.
In 2014, new exploratory studies were conducted in the Itsandra Hamanvou area on the island of Ngazidja. The target area is located between the North of Voinadjou Village and the South of Mbangani Village. The results of this campaign revealed the presence of new natural resources. These include lead, silver, copper, zinc, etc.
In spite of these studies, mineral resources remain unknown throughout the national territory. In order to have a national coverage of the sector, geological mapping studies on a scale of 50,000th are necessary.
Thus, the development of the mining sector remains an adequate option for an optimal exploitation of the mining resources.
To promote the mining sector, the government will set up a clear legal and regulatory framework to ensure the exploration and exploitation of these resources, including
- An institutional framework for investors;
- Measures to protect investments in the mining sector;
- Incentives in the sector ensuring transparent and optimal revenue management.