Building a Bridge to Clean Energy in Africa

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The signs of global warming surround us in our daily lives, the changing pattern of the seasons, the rise of the ocean level and the melting of the polar ice caps.

Mitigating the impact of this trend and ensuring a future for a sustainable planet earth should be a key factor in deciding what we do every day, as – individuals, businesses, governments and sundry non-government organisations.

Africa is usually considered to be the last frontier. Supporting Africa’s growth to realise its potential will require a renewed focus on infrastructure development, particularly electricity and mobility; building societies that support lower and even zero carbon emissions, for sustainable energy in Africa.

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Lowering Africa’s carbon emission levels will require a close look at our energy sources and the intensity of their use, ensuring the adoption of renewable energy sources and the development of more energy-efficient processes, machinery, and systems.

As the continent’s population continues to grow rapidly, the time to drive new ways of thinking and make bold moves to set the pace for Africa’s energy transition is NOW.

Interestingly, we find ourselves in a good position to leverage the lessons learned in driving energy transition across the globe.

There are ample solutions we can immediately explore to develop flexible, decentralised grids, adopt increasingly viable energy storage technologies, and effectively distribute off-grid solutions. During this transition, our abundant gas resources provide an energy bridge for electricity generation and mobility, a suitable substitute for several applications of crude oil and its refined products.

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This is critical for providing support for electricity grids supplied by renewable energy sources.

Building the bridge to clean energy in Africa will require significant levels of investments.

At Sahara Group, we believe private sector investments and public sector collaboration is crucial to achieving this objective. As a leading player in the African power sector and major supplier of LPG supply across West Africa, we will continue to play our part via strategic collaborations and partnerships.

Sahara Group has invested in improving LPG supply in Cote D’Ivoire through USD 43 Million Joint Venture with Petroci Holding to build a 12,000 MT storage facility in Abidjan. The project will effectively double the national storage and boost LPG availability and support inland supply to Mali and Burkina Faso.

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In addition, the JV between NNPC and Sahara Group (West Africa Gas Limited) has emerged a major player in the West African LPG market, supplying over 600,000 MT of LPG to West Africa over the last 3 years.

We have also recently launched an electricity transport system at Africa’s largest privately run power generation company, Egbin Power, in support of our clean energy initiative, reducing vehicular emission within the facility.

This will involve deploying 20 electric buggies and 500 bicycles to power clean energy within the power facility and more importantly, inspire a paradigm shift in this regard across Africa.

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The bridge to clean energy in Africa should be given top priority in Africa and should also attract the attention of the world. Now, that’s sustainability.

Opinion By Kola Adesina, GMD, Sahara Power Group

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