Dublin, Ireland — Executive Secretary of African Refiners and Distributors Association, ARDA, Mr. Anibor Kragha, has declared that Africa urgently needs a measured sustainable finance plan to ensure that investments are tailored towards delivering a unique African Energy Transition Plan.
In a statement, Kragha, who was former chief operating officer in charge of refineries and petrochemicals at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, also emphasised the fact that Africa’s growing energy demands must be met with cleaner fuels to address pollution and public health issues.
According to him, separate implementation strategies were needed for cleaner fuels, lower-carbon power generation and sustainable renewable energy solutions in Africa.
He explained that the urgent sustainable finance plan would be on a decade-by-decade basis, to drive future investments in the continent’s oil and gas industry towards achieve the energy transition plan.
Kragha also disclosed that a coordinated strategy for storage and distribution investments would be required to deliver Energy Transition Plan(s) for Africa, such as a coordinated refinery upgrade and supply and distribution infrastructure projects.
The ARDA executive secretary added that there was a need for regional and pan-African pipelines to connect the continent’s energy centres as well as deep water ports to reduce congestion and ultimately reduce costs associated with petroleum products imports.
He said: “Inclusive and equitable energy transition roadmap must be deployed that captures the priorities, challenges and perspectives of Africa’s low-emitting countries. The roadmap must not prioritise near-term emissions reductions (with relatively little climate benefits) over support for economic development and energy transformation.”
Kragha, who believes that technology could address oil and gas emissions, added that ARDA remained committed to securing project financing for strategic opportunities in African downstream oil sector, especially through the Africa liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector development fund and the refinery upgrades for clean fuels, storage and distribution infrastructure and petrochemicals projects fund.
Kragha was speaking in Cairo, Egypt at the Second High-Level Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)-Africa Dialogue Meetings during which OPEC, African Energy Commission (part of African Union), African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) and ARDA engaged on the need for a robust, intra-African oil and gas industry.
He further projected rapid growth in fuel demand in Africa in the next two decades, due to rising population, warning however, that public health challenges may result unless cleaner fuel is prioritised.
According to him, import requirements for transport fuels will continue to grow in sub-Saharan Africa, making the region the world’s largest importer by 2030.
Kragha disclosed that the continent would in the next four years see a peak increase of 52.7 million metric tons compared to African refinery capacity of 2019 reflecting an increase of about 212 per cent.
“Higher peak output reflects new refineries in Angola and Guinea and restarts of refineries in Cameroon and South Africa (Sapref). Subsequent closures driven by the push for cleaner fuel specifications will be offset by opening of the new refinery in Uganda in 2028,” Kragha stated.
Also speaking at the event, Secretary General of African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO), Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, said the challenge of energy transition for Africa is a lot more daunting.
He pointed out that a study conducted by APPO on the future of the oil and gas industry in Africa in light of the energy transition identified three imminent challenges: funding, technology and markets, that African oil and gas producing countries must address if they are not to lose the 125 billion barrels of crude oil and over 550 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves located on the continent.
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