By Udeme Akpan
The utilisation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, has increased in India, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and many African nations, including Nigeria, as many stakeholders advocate for the cleaner fuels, targeted at tackling environmental problems.
In his foreword to the 2019 World LPG Report obtained by Vanguard, Henry Cubbon, President, WLPGA, stated: “No matter where you are in the world, you cannot help but observe the increasing demands by activists for immediate action to tackle climate change, and the broader calls from younger generations for more to be done to protect our environment.
“National governments, regional governments and city mayors are responding through energy regulation to reduce fossil fuel consumption and support the development of renewable energy. Looking forward, the intensity of the debate will only accelerate further as the effects of climate change increasingly impact a growing world population.
“The good news is our industry is already playing a significant role in energy transition as LPG is seen as a cleaner, affordable energy source for the future. Around the globe, we are seeing LPG replace biomass in rural communities – in India, for example, the local LPG industry has increased LPG consumption by almost 1 million tonnes in 2019.
“Growth also continues strongly in rural China, in Indonesia, in Bangladesh, and across many countries in Africa. We are also seeing in Europe and in parts of North America a move to LPG from oil products across commercial, industrial and residential sectors – all driven by the hard work and ingenuity of LPG distributors. Further, we are seeing new applications powered by LPG such as mid to large scale power generation and shipping, and an emerging availability of BioPropane.”
He said: “However, despite this progress we face a real threat in the medium term. Indeed, our success risks being part of the problem in creating a danger of complacency. As members, we look to demand next week and next month and put any variations down to the impact of weather or short-term economic factors. In reality, we risk being overwhelmed by the global rush towards de-carbonisation through electrification, renewable and other lower CO2 emitting fuels; and this is not just a challenge for certain markets in say Europe where the environmental agenda is more advanced – we are seeing small scale solar projects in Africa, electric heat pumps in California, and LNG for example in Latin America and China.
“To confront this challenge, we all have a role to play in promoting the merits of LPG as individual members in our respective businesses and organisations, through our national associations, and of course through the WLPGA. What was encouraging in 2019 was the outcome of the WLPGA three-year planning process where members put forward views on the top priorities for the industry. Here there was little ambiguity in setting three core activities – firstly Advocacy to professionally promote the LPG message to target stakeholders, then business improvement to support the industry in setting the highest standards, and thirdly Innovation and Growth to demonstrate that we are a relevant fuel for the future.”
In another message obtained by Vanguard, James Rockall, CEO/ Managing Director, WLPGA, stated: “The energy transition is a move, driven principally by concern about climate change, to a range of new technologies to deliver affordable, secure and sustainable energy in the 21st century. I welcome this ambition, but with much of our economic activity and productivity around the globe dependent on the availability of reasonably priced energy,”