South Africa: ARDA To Discuss Africa’s Downstream Transition, Financial Options For Projects In April

Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, President of African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA)

The African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA) will converge in Cape Town, South Africa, between Monday 22nd and Friday 26th April 2024 over key industry issues and financing solutions for sustainable infrastructure projects on the continent, especially in the oil and gas downstream segment.

The event is coming on the backdrop of the push for energy security for Africa amidst dwindling financial options for fossil fuel due to net-zero concerns.

Speaking in Nigeria recently, the President of ARDA, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Ghana’s petroleum downstream regulator, stressed the critical role that the African downstream sector would play in meeting the continent’s future energy requirements and lauded the Dangote Refinery in Nigeria and Sentuo Refinery in Ghana, which recently came on stream.

“Africa’s significant future energy demands will require major investments across the downstream value chain to deliver cleaner fuels and value-added petroleum products to our growing population. Projects spanning infrastructure upgrades and logistics efficiency improvements must be pursued alongside cleaner fuel and vehicle initiatives,” Dr Abdul-Hamid said as reported by Vanguard Nigeria.

Abdul-Hamid said ARDA is ready to collaborate with the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the African Petroleum Producing Organisation (APPO), the African Union Commission and other stakeholders to pursue a robust, intra-African oil and gas industry supported by innovative financing solutions like the African Energy Bank that is due to take off later this year.

Executive Secretary of ARDA, Anibor Kragha said ARDA would continue to promote a targeted, unique African Downstream Energy Transition Plan supported by innovative financing solutions which would be showcased during the first-ever ARDA Investment Forum.

Kragha said: “Africa needs to be very intentional as we follow a coordinated strategy to execute bankable, energy infrastructure projects focused on balancing our continent’s energy security requirements with the global energy transition agenda.

“Our first ARDA Investment Forum will focus on fleshing out the key best practices–robust regulatory frameworks to support investments, effective project preparation to determine the scope, cost, and schedule for economic projects, fulfillment of critical ESG requirements, and targeted human capacity development objectives–are emplaced to attract the necessary project financing solutions to ensure that investments are made as envisioned to deliver Africa’s Energy Transition Plan.

“We must harness our critical human and mineral resources to target critical pools of capital to eradicate energy poverty and unleash the cleaner energy required to enable the continent’s transition to a low-carbon economy.”

At the conference, Kragha said sessions would discuss pan-African challenges and opportunities regarding the Post COP 28 to ensure a coordinated, robust intra-African oil & gas industry alongside the implementation of energy transition aspirations.

The conference would also look at the future of cleaner fuels in Africa, especially LPG, Biofuels, and Hydrogen while prioritising Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues.