Mauritania: Independent advice on ESIA for AMAN green hydrogen project

15 December 2023

The AMAN green hydrogen project is a multi-faceted project, including infrastructure for water desalination, ammonia production, hydrogen manufacturing, and product export planned in the coastal areas surrounding Levrier Bay and the Cap Blanc Peninsula, and the installation of wind turbines and solar panels in an 8,500 km2 desert area east of the Nouadhibou Peninsula. These facilities are expected to generate up to 30 GW of renewable electricity.

At the request of the Ministry of Environment in Mauritania, the NCEA has provided an independent advice on the terms of reference for the ESIA for this project. 
The NCEA noted that the main components of the project are presented in detail. All potential environmental and social issues have been listed and the preliminary identification of potential interactions between the different project components and receptors has been carried out.
Given the many uncertainties at this stage regarding the technical definition and the different options for location and size of the project components, planning of the decisions to be made are particularly crucial at this preliminary stage. Our most important recommendations concern:

- the need to clarify the structure of the process and the terms of the decisions to be made, including an expansion of the study area to cover all possible project options and all potential impact areas of national or international importance, inclusion of cumulative impacts of the situation prior to the project, and a comprehensive ecological system analysis of the landscape; and to revise, refine and complete the impacts to be evaluated accordingly

- the use and detailed description of decision support tools, including a multi-criteria analysis, that will make it possible to evaluate various alternatives and select the most judicious options based on the objectives sought and the results of the studies

- the integration of acquired knowledge from previous projects and into other broader existing or future frameworks, such as the Coastal Development Master Plan

- the need to improve the analysis of local socio-economic needs and potential to take full and specific account of positive impacts

The advisory report is available here