US backs Angola plan to process critical minerals, export power

The US is supporting Angola’s transition from an oil-dependent economy to becoming a key player in critical minerals processing and clean energy export, according to a senior official.

“Angola and the United States are aligned on all the major points related to energy access, energy security, decarbonization, and critical minerals,” stated Geoffrey Pyatt, US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, during an online media briefing on Tuesday.

The southern African nation, a leading crude oil producer, has become a focal point for the US in its strategy to secure critical minerals like copper, competing with China. The US Export-Import Bank has allocated billions of dollars to clean-energy projects in Angola, aiming to enhance the country’s capacity to export surplus electricity regionally.

Pyatt recently visited Luanda, where he met with Angola’s oil and energy ministers. They discussed building transmission and grid interconnection infrastructure to position Angola as a major energy exporter to sub-Saharan Africa, as per the transcript of his remarks.

The Ex-Im Bank approved a $900 million loan for solar farms in Angola, developed by the US company Sun Africa, which has pledged to use non-Chinese components. Additionally, the bank’s board has notified Congress of a $1.6 billion project with the same developer to build mini-grids and clean water projects nationwide.

Angola is also pursuing the development of downstream processing infrastructure for critical minerals. Pyatt mentioned that the US-backed Minerals Security Partnership Forum facilitates connections between producers and customers to explore financing opportunities from the US, European Union, and other sources to support such projects.

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