SA’s Minister Of Energy Seeks End To Fuel Importation In Africa

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…says oil & gas discoveries should translate to energy efficiency in Africa

The Minister of Mineral Resources & Energy, South Africa, of H.E. Gwede Mantashe has called for collaborative action among African oil-producing countries towards ending the importation of large quantities of refined petroleum products into the continent, stressing that importation of refined petroleum products drain foreign currency reserves of many African countries.

Delivery a keynote address during the just concluded Africa Oil & Power event in Cape Town, South Africa, Mantashe said that concrete steps towards energy collaboration as African countries along with their international partners are imperative. 
He said that it is an anomaly for African countries to continue to import large quantities of diesel and petrol when so many countries in the continent are endowed with oil and gas resources.

“Importation of refined products drains foreign currency reserves in many of our countries. Further, revenues obtained from the proceeds of exploration are used to purchase petroleum products.

“A collaborative approach is necessary to turn this around. We need to attract investment in refining hubs throughout the continent. In Sub-Sahara, we are aware of the large refinery complex that is being built in Nigeria. We should welcome that. In South Africa, we are working closely with Saudi Aramco to conclude a feasibility study into a crude oil refinery and associated petrochemical plants.

Speaking further, the Minister said that Africa must take cognisance of the challenge of energy paucity in the continent, adding that oil and gas discoveries in Africa should not only be programmed for exportation rather it should be harnessed to translate to energy efficiency in the continent.  

“Necessarily, we must remind ourselves of the task that faces us on our continent. Over 500 Million of us do not have access to modern forms of energy. We remain the most energy-deficient continent and where indoor pollution afflicts many.

“Resolving Africa’s energy challenge should, therefore, be the main outcome of these meetings. With policymakers, investors and key service providers gathered here, we can make tangible strides in achieving this outcome.

Continuing he said, “The endowment of Africa with Oil and Gas needs to be harnessed to deliver modern energy services to all households and businesses.

“The Gas that is being discovered in our countries must not only be destined for exports but should also find its way to our power-plants and other petrochemical facilities. This will ensure that we do not always import beneficiated hydrocarbons. The gas endowment must be translated to improved access to modern energy forms by consumers in this continent of ours, as envisaged in Agenda 2063. “The gas should also be able to attract investments in economic activity including manufacturing, which in turn creates the necessary jobs. We are mindful, however, of the need to earn foreign currency from the export of oil and gas. Therefore, the necessity for a balance.

“We have taken note of the global industry shifts. We are encouraged that many African countries have set themselves the vision to enter the global gas market and to promote the development of a domestic and regional gas market. Natural gas can improve the efficiencies of many industries that currently use sub-optimal fuel sources in their production processes. This will lead to a turnaround in the industrial capacity and demand in the region.

Peace Obi


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