By Obas Esiedesa – Abuja
Energy experts have disclosed that Nigeria and other African countries can save as much as $774 billion by promoting the adoption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as a cleaner cooking fuel alternative.
They stated that the amount could be achieved if 50 per cent of Africans adopted the use of LPG as cooking energy by 2030.
The experts noted that the total cost of continued use of biomass, charcoal and other pollutants as cooking fuels rather than cleaner alternatives like LPG could lead to premature deaths, time wasted on fuel collection cooking, increased childhood and adult illnesses, attendant environmental issues and strain on the healthcare system amounting to over $774 billion.
Speaking at the 15th anniversary of the African Refiners and Distributions Association (ARDA) annual ARDA Week conference, held virtually, yesterday, they held that the adoption of LPG remained critical to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number seven of Universal Access to Energy.
Despite the rising cost of LPG across the globe, Executive Director at Sahara Group, Temitope Shonubi said converting just 30 per cent of Africa’s vehicle fleet to run on LPG would result in $3 billion annual fuel-cost savings and ~40 billion gram in CO2 emission reductions.
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Shonubi who spoke on the “Role of LPG in Africa’s Energy Transition” at the event, noted that the indirect cost savings (from health and infrastructure) would exceed $15 billion yearly.
He further disclosed that only six African nations have combined LPG storage capacity greater than 50,000 Metric Tons (MTs), stressing that such lack of large-scale infrastructure would lead to uneconomic cargo sizes thereby resulting in increased landed LPG costs.
On his part, Executive Secretary of ARDA, Anibor Kragha had earlier warned of imminent danger if Africa fails to quickly adopt modern clean energy as over 850 million Africans still depend on solid fuels (biomass) for cooking.
According to him, without strategic efforts towards energy transition, especially replacement of solid cooking fuels like biomass and charcoal with cleaner alternatives like LPG, over 600,000 Africans annually will continue to die prematurely due to household air pollution.
Also speaking, Chairman, the Global LPG Partnership, Kimball Chen, said LPG markets were already established in Africa with downstream marketers/investors in place and interested in growth of the sector.
Chen added that functional LPG policies, regulations, standards and market models were being widely implemented across Africa, noting that global development institutions and multilateral banks continue to hold back on scaling up support for LPG because it was still considered a fossil fuel.