Sahara Group advocates market-based regime to develop gas sector in Africa
By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme
Sahara Group, a leading international energy and infrastructure conglomerate, has urged African governments and regulators to adopt market-based regimes to stimulate the sustainable development of gas across the continent.
The company noted that appropriate pricing of the commodity will enhance investment, increase production and consumption growth. It also called for the inclusion of investors in gas policy development frameworks as part of the process of enhancing capacity and competitiveness of the sector in Africa.
Speaking during the panel session on the subject, “The Game Changer: Enhancing African Gas Development Strategies and Investment Opportunities,” at the just-concluded African Energy Week, AEW 2023, in Cape Town, South Africa, Managing Director, Sahara Group Limited, Emmanuel Magani, said: “It is also important to have the private sector drive a lot of the gas projects. We have the West African Pipeline Project, WAGP that delivers gas to Benin, Togo and Ghana which has the potential to further play a huge role in regional gas development given market-based regimes and adequate investments.”
He said: “It is important to have the right type of market regime in order to ensure adequate returns to all key stakeholders. We need to have a market-based price regimes to drive and support the level of infrastructure required to transform gas development and utilisation in Africa. Gas can also play and increased role in Africa’s commitments to reduce carbon emissions.
For instance, according to McKinsey & Co, Nigeria has installed capacity of about 40 – 60 gigawatts, GW, of petrol and diesel generators. Switching that capacity to the electricity grid, will lead to an almost 33 metric tons carbon dioxide emissions reduction annually- equivalent to about 12% of Nigeria’s current greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, substituting firewood, Charcoal & Kerosene with LPG, would have a similar effect.
Magani noted that as a leading player in Africa’s oil and gas sector, including operations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, Sahara Group continues to seek investments and collaboration towards positioning gas is a key resource for transitioning to net zero.
“Sahara Group remains committed to providing adequate energy for different purposes, including industrialisation and domestic cooking. We are through our LPG operations contributing remarkably to efforts aimed at ending firewood and charcoal utilization by putting up the right infrastructure to drive storage, distribution, and access to LPG in Africa. In the power sector, Sahara Group provides 20 to 25 per cent of Nigeria’s electricity supply on any given day. In other words, one out of four electricity bulbs is powered by us. The number will be higher as we continue to expand. We work closely with other stakeholders in Africa to promote our vision of bringing energy to life responsibly, leaving no one behind,” he added.