[ACCI-CAVIE] Amid global energy crisis and intense push towards net-zero, African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA) has called for leeway that will ensure downstream energy transition in Africa, as well as sustainable finance that will create energy security on the continent.
This is coming as the pan-African body concludes arrangements to bring global industry players to Cape Town, South Africa to discuss options for emerging energy issues.
Spotlighting the challenges of decarbonisation economic opportunities, infrastructure financing that would accelerate Africa’s Energy Transition, carbon abatement projects as well as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), biofuels and other sustainable fuels integration for energy security, President of ARDA and Managing Director of SAR refinery in Dakar, Senegal, Marieme Ndoye Decreane, said immediate actions were needed on the continent to achieve projected objectives in the sector.
She said: “We cannot prevaricate, if we are going to meet our short-term energy security objectives, banish fuel poverty, and achieve our COP targets. Action is needed now.”
Executive Secretary of ARDA, Anibor Kragha noted that there were major competing challenges to the African Downstream sector, as it struggled to balance its near-term cleaner fuel needs with the longer-term energy transition initiatives.
Kragha decried the impacts of Ukraine war on existing energy transition approach in Africa, insisted that the continent must first prioritise energy security.
“These competing challenges are not only difficult to reconcile in terms of their objectives, but also, critically, in competing for the same pool of financing,” Kragha said.
Noting the complexity of the situation in Africa, with banks under increasing pressure from Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG), Kragha decried limit investments in fossil fuel projects.
He said removing energy poverty was sacrosanct, stressing that Africa might experience significant shortages of the cleaner energy required to enable the continent’s transition to a low-carbon economy.
On the conference, Mme Ndoye Decreane highlighted the conflicting fortunes of the African downstream sector, saying: “In Senegal, we are investing in our refinery, backed by our country’s President, and in Nigeria the gigantic Dangote refinery is nearing completion backed by private financing. Nigeria is also rehabilitating its NNPC refineries, and other countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, the Republic of Congo, Uganda and Cameroun have ongoing projects. However, in Zambia and in South Africa, refineries have announced closure.
“At the same time, investment in improving infrastructure and logistic efficiency, critical to our continent’s economic progress has stalled, as have cleaner fuel and vehicles initiatives.”
Individual speakers at the event are expected to cover the role of the Downstream in delivering the African Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI); National Oil Companies and Energy Transition – The Path to Net-Zero; African Independents’ Path to Cleaner Fuels and Net-Zero and Cleaner Vehicle Emissions – An Essential Path to reduce Air Pollution.
By Kingsley Jeremiah and LB