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Stakeholders to focus on downstream energy transition plan at ARDA’s 15th anniversary

Key players in the downstream segment of the petroleum industry in Africa are looking to develop a robust, continent-wide Downstream Energy Transition plan as the African Refiners & Distributors Association (ARDA) converges for its 2021 ARDA Week Conference to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

ARDA, regarded as the only pan-African organisation for the African Downstream, is expected to hold its annual ARDA Week programme from the 11th to the 13th of this month. The event will be held virtually this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Founded in 2006, ARDA is comprised of African oil refiners, importers, terminal and pipeline operators, major marketers, distributors, regulators and others.

The Association is currently working with the African Union on the adoption of harmonized, pan-African cleaner fuel specifications (10 ppm sulphur for gasoline and diesel by 2030) against the backdrop of the growing need for intra-African trade as well as mounting pressure to reduce health and environmental issues associated with higher-sulphur petroleum products.

ARDA had earlier advised that the continent would need about $15.7 billion to upgrade the existing 36 oil refineries.

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Executive Secretary of ARDA, Anibor Kragha said in a release that the anniversary would be marked by initiatives towards the implementation of an actionable roadmap to effectively transition Africa’s current primary energy mix towards a more sustainable and lower carbon footprint.

He equally noted that the virtual conference would serve as a means of finding lasting solutions to the challenges bedevilling the future of the African downstream oil industry.

Kragha disclosed that the Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo; Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Energy of Côte d’Ivoire, Thomas Camara; Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber, NJ Ayuk are amongst the dignitaries expected to grace the occasion alongside global institutions, including Vitol, Total Energies United Nations Development Programme, International Energy Agency, S&P Global Platts, IPIECA, Clean Cooking Alliance and the Global LPG Partnership.

Some key African organizations participating in the event comprise Sahara Group, EGPC, Standard Bank and the Africa Finance Corporation.

Apart from considering the emerging issues surrounding energy transition in the global space and the relevance for Africa, Kragha said the experts would dissect impacts and roles of technology in the energy transition plan as well as supply chain challenges for LPG adoption and avenues for securing sustainable finance to drive the energy transition agenda on the continent.

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