African nations need to spend about US$15.7 billion on their refineries to curb emissions and meet climate-change targets as demand for oil and gas
surges, according to an industry lobby group.
Governments on the continent should focus on reducing sulfur levels in petroleum products because Africa’s consumption of fossil fuels will rise
quickly in the coming decades even as the supply of clean energy expands, said Anibor Kragha, executive secretary of the African Refiners and
Distributors Association, or ARDA. The pan-African body, based in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital of Abidjan, promotes the interests of the
downstream oil industry.
A “leapfrog” switch by African nations from oil and gas directly to renewables isn’t realistic, Kragha said in an emailed response to questions.
“Africa needs a unique energy transition roadmap.”
Governments in wealthier nations have set ambitious targets for a rapid shift to renewable energy to slash carbon-dioxide emissions, with many
countries and companies making commitments to achieving so-called net-zero by 2050.
Africa has accounted for about 2% of cumulative global emissions, according to the International Energy Agency, a figure the Paris-based
organization sees rising to only as much as 4.5% by 2040.
Africa’s overall energy consumption is set to increase at twice the pace of the global average as populations and economies grow, the IEA said in a
Demand for oil and gas in Africa is expected to double to at least 7 million barrels per day and 317 billion cubic meters respectively by 2040, even as
the contribution of renewables is forecast to soar more than tenfold from its current low base, according to IEA estimates.