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African refiners to adopt single grade petrol by 2030

Worried by the different grades of petroleum products across Africa and its health implication, the African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA) has committed to having a single grade of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol by 2030.

Executive Secretary, ARDA, Mr. Anibor Kragha, stated this at the CEO Strategic Session 1: ‘’Market Outlook for Petrochemicals and Refineries of the Future’’ at the 24th World Petroleum Congress(WPC) which ended in Calgary, Canada, last week.

In partnership with the African Union, he said, ARDA is working on the adoption of harmonised pan African clean fuel specification, particularly Afri 6 or 10 per of gas per million parts of air(ppm) specification for fuel across Africa.

‘‘In may interest you to know that in Africa we have 11 different grades of diesel or gas oil engine from 10 ppm to 10,000 ppm and for gasoline, we have 12 different grades ranging from 10ppm to 2,500 ppm. So that initiative is to have a single 10ppm grade by 2030 across Africa,’’.

He explained that one of the key objectives of ARDA is to champion investments across the entire downstream value chain and more recently geopolitically even though Africa is not directly involved in the Russia-Ukraine crises but rather more focused on Africa energy security by possibly maximising African crude oil in African refineries and transportation of cleaner fuels from African refineries via integrated storage distribution infrastructure across the continent.

He added that in order not to have a health crisis on our hands, the continent must ensure that it brings in cleaner fuels like Liquefied Petroleum Gas Gas(LPG) for cleaner cooking, adding that that the future is very bright for refining in Africa.

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On the low refining capacity of Africa which is putting a strain on its foreign exchange as a result of huge importation of petroleum products, Kragha said ARDA continues to promote and support increased investments in refining capacity on the African continent to ensure that the continent’s growing petroleum products demand is met with cleaner fuels.

‘‘For example, last week, ARDA delivered the Keynote address for the downstream panel at the Angola Oil and Gas 2023 conference which focused on integrating local players into Angola’s Downstream sector and highlighted Angola’s drive led by Sonaref to increase its refining capacity from 65,000 barrels per day (BPD) to 425,000 BPD by 2027.

ARDA is also very supportive of NNPC Limited’s refinery revamp initiatives and the game-changing 650,000 BPD Dangote refinery in Nigeria as well as the various projects by SIR in Cote d’Ivoire, SAR in Senegal and other ARDA Members across the continent to deliver refined petroleum products locally,’’

The ARDA boss said the prospects for the African refining and petrochemicals sector over the next few decades are very bright given the combination of significant increased energy demand and major population growth over the period.

Again, given Africa’s relatively small contribution of just 2.73 per cent of global cumulative CO2 emissions to date (vs. 33 per cent for the European Union and 29 per cent for North America), saying the continent needs a just, equitable, African downstream energy transition plan that focuses on cleaner transport and cooking fuels in the near term and mature, cost-effective renewables later.

He maintained that ARDA is working on a decade-by-decade (2030 to 2050) African Downstream Energy Transition Plan and associated finance plan that will deliver the continents specific energy requirements while balancing energy security needs.

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