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Africa’s Downstream Opportunities Take Forefront as ARDA ES Joins AEW 2024

By Patience Chat Moses

The Executive Secretary of the African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA), Anibor Kragha, will speak at the African Energy Week (AEW): Invest in African Energy conference – taking place from November 4–8, 2024 in Cape Town. 

In a statement, the organizers of the event, African Energy Chambers (AEC) noted that Kragha’s return to the conference will not only improve the understanding of the state of play of Africa’s downstream industry but draw insight into strategies for addressing challenges to the sector’s development. 

  Kragha will engage in high-level panel discussions, spotlighting Africa’s downstream project pipeline and attractive investment opportunities.

AEW: Invest in African Energy will streamline investment towards Africa’s downstream industry as countries move to make energy poverty history by 2030.

According to the Executive Chairman of AEC, Engr. NJ Ayuk, Africa is advancing its downstream infrastructure under efforts to scale-up energy security continent-wide. 

As the sole pan-African organization representing the African downstream sector, ARDA is at the forefront of this expansion, advocating for increased investment in infrastructure development and modernization and promoting greater participation by local companies.

 With African petroleum demand set to increase from current estimates of 4.1 million barrels per day (bpd) to over 5.3 million bpd by 2040, strengthening refining capacity and distribution is critical. During AEW, Kragha will outline investment opportunities in this area.

AEW is the platform of choice for project operators, financiers, technology providers and government, and has emerged as the official place to sign deals in African energy.

At the 2024 edition of the AEW, ARDA will be spearheading both the rollout of new facilities as well as the modernization of existing downstream infrastructure to meet the continent’s needs.

Also, Ayuk noted that across the continent, efforts to bolster refining capacity to meet rising demand for petroleum are leading to new developments taking off across the downstream sector.

 In Nigeria,for instance , he said the Dangote Refinery , which happens to be Africa’s largest refining facility, started producing diesel and aviation fuel in January 2024.

 He added that the 650,000-bpd facility will cater to Nigeria’s domestic energy requirements while positioning the country as a key exporter upon full operational capacity – likely expected in mid-2025. 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) limited, which is also an ARDA member, is also advancing the upgrading of the Port Harcourt refinery, with operations slated to commence in 2024 following the receipt of crude oil shipments from Shell in February.

Speaking in relation to Ghana, Ayuk said the first phase of Sentuo Oil Refinery Limited’s 120,000-bpd refinery in the country started operations in January 2024 with a facility that will process two million tons per annum of crude oil in the first phase and five million tons in the second phase, supporting the country’s industrialization efforts.

  In Gabon, he explained that plans are also underway to expand the processing capacity of the Port Gentil refinery to meet the rising demand for diesel and butane.