By Obas Esiedesa – Abuja
With over 850 million Africans still dependent on solid fuel for cooking, refiners and distributors of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, have called for speedy deployment of clean cooking fuel across the continent.
The adoption, LPG experts say, would save the lives of about 600,000 people annually on the continent.
Speaking at a virtual workshop organized by African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA), they warned of imminent dangers if Africa fails to quickly adopt modern clean energy for cooking.
The Executive Secretary of ARDA, Anibor Kragha harped on the need for the energy transition in the face of projected growing energy demand.
He pointed at LPG as a credible near-term solution for reducing carbon emissions against polluting solid fuels.
Kragha warned that Africa would face a serious health crisis if steps are not urgently taken to transition into cleaner fuels in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He noted that the continent must aim at fostering collaboration and sharing of best practices to mitigate projected challenges that could undermine energy transition on the continent.
According to him, “The deployment of the planned Africa LPG Sector Development Fund to finance National LPG ecosystems at country-level will ensure a robust, full value chain approach to drive sustainable investments and accelerate LPG adoption across the continent.
“An integrated Ecosystem Approach for deploying sustainable investments across the LPG value chain is essential in Africa’s drive towards world-class per capita consumption of LPG”, he stated at the close of the workshop.”
Kragha explained that the workshop is a part of ARDA’s seven-part virtual workgroup workshop series, adding that ARDA is currently working with the African Union to reduce sulphur content in fuels.
He said ARDA would hold other workshops on storage and distribution, refining and specifications, HSE and quality, human capital, sustainable financing, and regulation as a build-up to the annual ARDA conference in October this year which will focus on developing Africa’s downstream energy transition plan.
On his part, Chairman/CEO of GLPGP, Kimball Chen, said LPG for Clean Cooking in Africa remained a priority issue for the international community – governments and various institutions – as well as private sector capital providers as evidenced by recent LPG feasibility studies in DRC, Kenya Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.
Also speaking, Global Head, Oil & Gas Coverage at Standard Bank, Dele Kuti, said there was need to ensure an enabling environment for financing of LPG projects, stressing that population growth, new product lines and the drive for cleaner energy supply in future make LPG investments a viable option.
Industry majors, including Global LPG Partnership (GLPGP), World LPG Association, Clean Cooking Alliance, Shell Foundation and Oryx Energies at the meeting harped on the need for the development of a robust African LPG value chain.