AEW 2022 Addresses Local Content and Capacity Building During Natural Gas Forum in Cape Town

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Day three of AEW 2022 featured a forum that addressed the role that natural gas will play in the development of local content and capacity building.

Uniting African energy stakeholders with investors and international partners to drive industry growth and development, the African Energy Week (AEW) 2022 Conference and Exhibition featured its second Natural Gas Forum, focusing on local content and capital domiciliation laws and what can be done to keep the value of African energy in Africa.

The session featured a keynote speech by Dr. Ben Asante, CEO of the national gas company, Ghana Gas, who discussed the country and region’s upstream sector and how African economic development can benefit from energy, the creation of jobs, and the development of associated value-adding industries in both the oil and gas industry.

“We have to make sure that when investors come to Africa, they have access to capital; that they have access to reserve studies and well deliverability data; and that they have access to production profiles for proven, probably, and possible resources,” stated Dr. Asante, adding, “Private sector participation and capacity building are essential for developing Ghana’s gas sector, with an institutional framework that is well-defined.”

Meanwhile, the forum featured a panel discussion, moderated by Elizabeth Rogo, CEO at energy consultancy company, Tsavo Oilfield Services, with participation from Dr. Asante; Ezekial Adesina, Executive Secretary, Africa Energy Study Group; Jozsef Marton, Partner, Preng & Associates; Dr. Odette Delbra, CEO, Gabon Oil; and Eric Williams, President and Principal Consultant, Royal Triangle Energy Solutions who discussed the natural gas economy in Africa under the theme, ‘Local content and capacity building within an emerging frontier’.

“Let us think in one way for Africa,” stated Dr. Odette Delbra, CEO of Gabon Oil, adding,” We need to monetize our gas. We have to stop flaring and translate that gas to energy. We need to ensure that all associated gas will be used first to give electricity to our population and then later we can transform that gas internally to create jobs and help with health and education.”

Warranting the need to reduce emissions across the energy sector, the speakers during the forum recognized the need for the continent to maximize its gas resources by building a gas-based economy and facilitating the development of economic diversification to promote socio economic development.

“Our resources are valuable,” indicated Eric Williams, President and Principal Consultant for Royal Triangle Energy Solutions, stating, “I wish for African gas. To monetize gas, you need to build something out of it. If we go back to the fundamentals and refocus our collective intellectual capacity, then I think we can start to address the poverty and underdevelopment issues that persist on the African continent.”

With many companies operating on the continent leading the way towards a sustainably developed hydrocarbon industry, the lucrative potential of associated chemicals and products such as fertilizers, plastics, lubricants, and chemical compounds, offers African gas producers an opportunity to bring jobs, wealth, and energy to their populations.

“Gas is a fuel and a feedstock,” Williams continued, concluding, “If you only use it as a fuel, you are losing the effect of the feedstock. The feedstock has the ability to build petrochemical and other facilities in one’s country. Meanwhile, there are two elements to local content, the backward path, and the forward linkage. The backward linkage is about jobs and services in the local environment, immediately putting developing countries at a disadvantage, leaving them without the capability to match developed countries. The forward linkage is where you build things that will provide beneficiation of the raw material in the country.”

Centered around the role Africa’s resources will play in meeting global energy demand while driving a just and sustainable energy transition, AEW 2022 is fully committed to ensuring the continent realizes its gas growth potential, facilitating the realization of project approvals, energy investment, and industry growth and development.

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