Gov Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, has directed the management of International Equitable Association (IEA) to ensure youths of its host community, Umuokeyibe Umungasi, Aba, are given employment.This directive is contained in a statement signed by Abia Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief Okiyi Kalu and made available to News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday.Ikpeazu gave the directive during a meeting to settle a long standing rift between the company and their host community in Aba on Wednesday.The governor urged the company to abide by terms of the settlement which included ensuring that youths of the community were employed at management and other levels within the organization.Ikpeazu’s intervention and settlement of the rift has paved the way for the resumption of production at the hitherto moribund factory of the industrial giants.The governor at the meeting, applauded members of the community and their forebears for their foresight in donating their land in 1952 for the establishment of the factory.He also thanked them for peaceful renegotiations which started in 2018 and led to the agreement to settle all the lingering issues in June 2022.“We are happy that our collective efforts to reinvigorate this company is yielding positive results and I am optimistic that production activities will soon start again at the factory which is one of the landmark organizations that made Aba an industrial hub,” Ikpeazu said.Mr Sola Ajayi, the Managing Director of IEA, expressed appreciation to the governor for midwifing the settlement process.He assured that the company was ready to resume production as soon as preliminary works were completed.He also thanked the governor for fulfilling his promise to fix Nicholas Road, Aba, which leads to the factory and pledged the company’s willingness to be a good corporate citizen.Mr Chris Ubani, the Chairman of the Community and Mr Enyinnaya Ubani, their spokesman, thanked Ikpeazu for his development strides and pursuit of industrialization in Abia.They pledged to abide by the terms of the agreement reached by both parties.NAN reports that IEA commenced operations in 1954, manufacturing popular detergents and soap brands before the ownership crises that led to its closure in 2009.The meeting, held in Governor’s Lodge, Aba, had in attendance the Trade and Investment commissioner, Chief John Okiyi Kalu and other top government officials.
CrossBoundary Energy Access (CBEA) (www.CrossBoundary.com/Energy-Access) will deploy a total of $50 million in capital for its near-term portfolio of solar mini-grid portfolios. CBEA plans to deploy $150 million to bring clean energy to one million people in Africa. Supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number Seven (SDG7), Clean and Affordable Energy for All.
CrossBoundary Energy Access (CBEA), Africa's first project finance facility for mini-grids, announced $25 million in new financing commitments from ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Limited, Bank of America and the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund. This investment will leverage an additional $25 million in senior debt to deploy $50 million of equity in CBEA's near-term portfolio of solar-powered mini-grids.
CBEA will deploy a total of $150 million over the next two years to bring clean energy to one million people in Africa. Mini-grids combine solar power and batteries to provide 24/7 grid-quality power to homes and businesses. This initiative will allow residential and individual local small business subscribers to access renewable electricity for the first time. These solar-powered mini-grids will help bridge the gap by bringing clean electricity to rural areas in Africa that currently have no access to electricity.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the solar mini-grid sector needs $187 billion to achieve universal energy access by 2030. CBEA believes project finance is key to unlocking infrastructure-type capital through long term that the mini-grid sector needs. CBEA pioneered its mixed project funding structure in 2019 with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, Ceniarth, the DOEN Foundation, the Shell Foundation and UK Aid.
According to the IEA, more than 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity. This slows down economic growth, productive investment, job creation and poverty reduction. Solar mini-grids provide a solution to this problem, unlocking the potential of those living without electricity. CBEA's blended finance approach creates a new model for financing rural electrification in Africa, bringing renewable electricity to one million people once the $150 million target is fully implemented.
Gabriel Davies, Managing Director and Head of Energy Access at CrossBoundary, says: “CrossBoundary Energy Access has grown with the industry and this fundraiser is a testament to the work of developers, governments and donors over the years. The confidence of ARCH, Bank of America and Microsoft reflects the growing maturity of the mini-grid sector and its ability to attract institutional capital. Our investors believe that the mini-grid industry is ready to scale and that 2022 will mark a turning point in its growth. Work still needs to be done on all aspects of mini-grids, including regulation, the business model, and subsidy programs. But we're excited by the sea change in scale and pace we're seeing from developers, investors, regulators and donors, and encouraged by the amount of capital the industry is poised to absorb in the next 24 months. ”
Humphrey Wireko, CEO of CrossBoundary Energy Access, says, “This is a crucial step for CrossBoundary Energy Access to unlock the public and private capital needed to scale the mini-grid sector. We look forward to mobilizing this investment to bring the projects in our portfolio to life and provide power to African homes and businesses through these distributed renewable assets.”
William Barry, Managing Director, Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARCH ARPF) of ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Limited, says: “We believe that distributed renewables, including mini-grids, are a critical component of Africa's energy future, and CrossBoundary Energy Access has developed a thoughtful and blended approach to the challenge of unlocking capital for the sector. At ARCH ARPF, our goal is to partner with strong management teams and invest in scalable business models that offer compelling alternatives to your clients. We are excited to support them to climb.”
Amy Brusiloff, Community Development Executive for Environment, Social and Governance at Bank of America, says, “Through this investment, Bank of America is supporting clean energy solutions in hard-to-reach rural areas of Africa and helping drive the transition to clean sources. energy for everyone. This innovative blended financing structure from CrossBoundary Energy Access aggregates renewable energy mini-grid projects to achieve scale and reduce risk, making it easier for large institutions to invest.”
Brandon Middaugh, Director, Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, says: “Achieving universal electrification in Africa requires scaling clean and affordable energy solutions. CrossBoundary Energy Access's innovative approach to mini-grids unlocks clean energy solutions for the millions of Africans who still do not have access to energy. Microsoft is proud to help scale mini-grid solutions that promote climate equity by bringing access to clean energy to more businesses and communities."
ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Limited was advised by Bowmans Kenya. The lenders were advised by Latham & Watkins.
By Mark Venables, Consultant, African Mining Indaba (https://MiningIndaba.com)
Currently, global production of low-carbon hydrogen is minimal, its cost is not yet competitive, and its use in promising sectors such as industry and transportation remains limited, but there are encouraging signs that it is on the cusp of a decline. significant cost increases and widespread expansion. global growth, according to the IEA's Global Hydrogen Review 2021.
Hydrogen is light, storable and energy dense, and its use as a fuel does not produce direct emissions of pollutants or greenhouse gases. The main obstacle to the extensive use of low-carbon hydrogen is the cost of producing it. This requires substantial amounts of electricity to produce from water or the use of carbon capture technologies if hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels. Almost all of the hydrogen produced today comes from fossil fuels with no carbon capture, generating close to 900 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to the combined CO2 emissions of the UK and Indonesia.
Challenges for green hydrogen
However, green hydrogen, produced from renewable energy through electrolysis, is considered the most effective way to combat climate change. However, there are several challenges that need to be overcome for this technology to grow at the required pace. Access to abundant and low-cost renewable energy is one of the main requirements, and in that scenario, Africa has a leadership advantage.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) 'Scaling Up Renewable Energy Deployment in Africa' report, Africa could meet almost a quarter of its energy needs with clean, indigenous renewables by 2030. Modern renewables amounting to 310 GW could provide half of the continent's total electricity generating capacity. This corresponds to a sevenfold increase in the currently available capacity, which amounted to 42 GW. A transformation of this scale in Africa's energy sector would require an average annual investment of US$70 billion through 2030, resulting in CO2 emission reductions of up to 310 megatonnes per year.
The low cost of electricity alone is not sufficient for competitive green hydrogen production, however, reductions in the cost of electrolysis facilities are also needed. This is the second largest cost component of green hydrogen production. According to IRENA's 'Green Hydrogen Cost Reduction' report, strategies to reduce investment costs of electrolysis plants from 40% in the short term to 80% in the long term are feasible. These strategies range from the fundamental design of the electrolyser stack to broader elements of the entire system.
The role of mining in the production of green hydrogen
According to the IEA, the increase in the production of electrolysers will affect the demand for minerals, in particular nickel and platinum group metals (depending on the type of technology). The catalysts in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysers require 300 kg of platinum and 700 kg of iridium per GW. Thus, if PEMs were to supply all electrolyser output in 2030, iridium demand would skyrocket to 63 kt, nine times current global production.
Experts believe, however, that demand for both iridium and platinum may drop by a factor of ten in the next decade. Recycling of PEM electrolyser cells can further reduce the primary demand for these metals and should be a core element of cell design.
Meanwhile, the production of solid oxide electrolyzer cells (SOEC) requires nickel (150-200 t/GW), zirconium (40 t/GW), lanthanum (20 t/GW) and yttrium (<5 t/GW) . Better design in the next decade is expected to halve each of these amounts, with the technical potential to reduce nickel content below 10 t/GW. Due to the higher electrical efficiency of SOECs, these mineral requirements are not directly comparable to alkaline and PEM electrolysers.
Africa and hydrogen
Of Africa's annual consumption of three 3 Mt of hydrogen, 70 percent is used in the chemical sector, mainly to produce nitrogenous fertilizers that increase crop yields and replenish soil nutrients and are therefore a component critical to food security across the continent.
Virtually all hydrogen production in Africa is currently based on fossil fuels, including the part used to produce nitrogenous fertilizers. Therefore, the ability to produce hydrogen from renewable energy is a fantastic opportunity for African countries to replace fossil fuel-based production, which in many cases relies on imports. This is particularly important for landlocked countries that face additional challenges in distributing fertilizers and obtaining the natural gas needed to produce them.
Africa's potential to generate low-cost renewable electricity to produce low-carbon hydrogen is considerable. As the costs of renewable electricity generation and electrolysers continue to decline, cost parity with fossil fuel-based generation is a genuine medium- and long-term prospect in places with the best renewable resources. In areas where the necessary transportation and storage infrastructure is practical and scalable, CCUS-equipped low-cost natural gas is another option for producing low-carbon hydrogen for ammonia synthesis.
Some countries in the region have taken the first steps to take advantage of the opportunities offered by hydrogen. Morocco is leading the way with its Green Hydrogen Cluster, established by the government to promote collaboration between private and academic stakeholders to support the emerging renewable hydrogen sector. With the double objective of collaborating in technological development and positioning Morocco as a potential export center, the government has been building international alliances with countries such as Germany and Portugal.
South Africa's Hydrogen Valley
In South Africa, the government is trying to match the synergies between platinum mining, renewable energy and hydrogen production to form a hydrogen hub. The hydrogen valley will serve as an industry cluster, bringing together various hydrogen applications in the country to form an integrated hydrogen ecosystem. The initiative is part of the work being done to support the implementation of the National Hydrogen Society Roadmap, which was recently approved by the Cabinet, as well as phase 3 of the country's Reconstruction and Economic Recovery Plan.
Anglo American, in collaboration with the South African Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the South African National Development Institute (SANEDI), Engie and Bambili Energy, have announced the results of a feasibility study to explore the potential of a valley of hydrogen anchored in the Bushveld geological area, rich in platinum group metals, along the industrial and commercial corridor towards Johannesburg and towards the south coast in Durban.
"The opportunity to create new engines of economic activity through hydrogen has been validated through this feasibility study with our partners," says Natascha Viljoen, CEO of Anglo American's PGM business. "As a leading producer of platinum group metals (PGM), they have been working for some years to establish the right ecosystem to successfully develop, scale-up and implement hydrogen-powered solutions. These include investing in innovative companies and enabling technologies, as well as forging wide-ranging collaborations across the industry, to fully harness the transformative potential of green hydrogen for our economy in South Africa.”
The feasibility study identifies three hubs: Johannesburg, which extends to Rustenburg and Pretoria; Durban, which encompasses the city itself and Richards Bay; and Limpopo province centered on Anglo American's Mogalakwena PGM mine, with a critical role to play in integrating hydrogen into the South African economy and establishing South Africa and its abundant renewable energy resources as a strategically important hub for green hydrogen production. Nine key pilot projects have also been identified in these centers and it is recommended that developers prioritize them. They cover the transport, industry and construction sectors.
Following the publication of the feasibility study results, Anglo American will work with South African DSI and the other partners on the implementation of relevant projects, and continue to advance its own company-led initiatives towards developing the hydrogen economy.
Anglo American is already investing in renewable hydrogen production technology at its Mogalakwena PGM mine and in developing hydrogen-powered fuel cell mine hauling trucks, the world's largest powered by hydrogen.
For more information on the Investing in African Mining Indaba program, click here (https://bit.ly/3KMpJpS)
Hyve Group presents the new sister event of Mining Indaba. Green Energy Africa Summit (https://GreenEnergyAfricaSummit.com) will take place on October 4-5, 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa.
The GEA Summit advocates the importance of Africa's low-carbon future, where sustainable mining will play a critical role in renewable energy development, with certain minerals in high demand for green technology.
GEA Summit offers mining companies the opportunity to interact with solution providers and investors who have a specific interest in developing industrial energy solutions operating across the continent. Click here (https://bit.ly/3vKiafb) to download and learn more about our exhibit, sponsorship and delegate opportunities.
Alternatively, Green Energy Africa Summit will also have booth 1324 at Mining Indaba
By Paul Sinclair is Vice President of Energy for Africa Oil Week (www.Africa-OilWeek.com)
As Europe looks for new gas sources to ensure its energy security, can African markets fill the void for Russia? While some countries are well poised to benefit from the potential economic gains, others are falling behind in terms of investment and infrastructure, writes Paul Sinclair, vice president of energy for Africa Oil Week (www.Africa-OilWeek.com).
The International Energy Agency's (IEA) 10-point plan to reduce the European Union's dependence on Russian natural gas makes no mention of Africa. Within the region, he sees increased production from Azerbaijan and Norway as likely to provide some additional gas in the near term.
However, African leaders are already moving to address European and global needs. They will meet in Cape Town from October 3-7 for Africa Oil Week, the continent's premier energy conference.
Africa is the new energy frontier and offers a wide mix of energy solutions that could provide long-term relief. This reality is likely to drive further investment and exploration in the coming years.
north vs. sub-saharan africa
In this changing global energy landscape, North Africa is much better positioned to increase gas supplies to Europe. Major markets such as Algeria and Egypt are already major gas exporters to Europe and may rely on both LNG (liquefied natural gas) shipments and pipelines to do so.
Last month, Algeria announced spare capacity in the Transmed pipeline that could be used to increase supplies to Europe. However, he must choose whether he is willing to jeopardize his strong relations with Russia.
Sub-Saharan Africa lacks the necessary gas infrastructure to play a significant role in increasing gas exports to Europe, at least in the short term. The subcontinent has onshore LNG export facilities in Nigeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea and a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) terminal in Cameroon.
Although Nigeria, Angola and Equatorial Guinea have been struggling to supply raw material to their terminals and operate at full capacity after OPEC quotas in 2020 and years of underinvestment in limited upstream gas production.
Pipelines offer an attractive solution, but not for everyone
“While pipelines across the Mediterranean have been successfully delivering gas to Europe from North Africa, it remains to be seen whether countries in sub-Saharan Africa can replicate the same success,” says Mickael Vogel, director and head of research at Hawilti. , pan-African gas. investment research firm.
“Nigeria, which has the largest gas reserves in Africa, has long wanted to supply gas by pipeline through Morocco and Algeria. However, the time required to get these types of projects off the ground, if they ever get off the ground, makes them impossible candidates in the short and medium term,” he says.
LNG terminals on the rise
Increased African gas supplies to Europe are likely to come only from already scheduled installations and deliveries from projects that started in recent years.
Before the end of the year, the Italian company Eni will start production of its floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project off the coast of Mozambique. The 3.4 mtpa (million tonnes per year) facility was successfully moored this month and is only Africa's second FLNG unit after Cameroon.
TotalEnergies is hopeful of resuming construction this year at the Mozambique LNG terminal, which is not expected to come online before 2026. However, most of the supply contracts secured from the terminal are with Asian traders and buyers of India, Japan, China and Indonesia. Consequently, very little capacity is expected to be reserved for the European market. This leaves the door open for other competitors, should they be able to deliver on time, which is unlikely.
One megaproject likely to benefit from the current scenario is Tanzania LNG, a multibillion-dollar venture that would monetize almost 50 trillion cubic feet of gas discovered offshore.
Tanzania LNG is expected to be able to become a strong gas supplier to Europe before 2030, if construction could start in mid-2023.
Don't underestimate floating LNG
The reshaping of Europe's energy security leaves many unanswered questions, chief among them being Europe's long-term demand for gas in the first place. In this ever-changing global gas market, FLNG is the wild card, and sub-Saharan Africa would do well to bring it to the table.
By next year, the continent will have three floating LNG carriers in operation in Cameroon, Mozambique and Senegal/Mauritania. If all goes well, a fourth could even start operations in 2023 offshore the Republic of Congo, where Eni is now accelerating development of a flexible, modular liquefaction project powered by New Fortress Energy.
“Because floating LNG allows smaller, or even stranded, gas reserves to be developed, it can be deployed across a wide range of assets with a shorter time-to-market. This makes it attractive in an environment where gas supply needs to be secured in record time,” says Mickael Vogel.
“FLNG projects are actually much more flexible in how and where they deliver their cargo. One of the main reasons is that they can rely on shorter supply contracts of less than 10 years, as opposed to larger terminals, which often rely on long-term contracts of 13-20 years,” he says.
As current demand for “fast” gas supplies to Europe increases, several likely African FLNG candidates could gain ground. However, for many countries the opportunity has been lost, at least for now.
Whether Africa has the potential to become Europe's preferred gas supplier is not the only question. As I pointed out in a recent article, Africa needs to lift almost 500 million people (https://bit.ly/3DRyEVh) out of poverty. Furthermore, almost half of all African states have not experienced real economic growth in two decades.
This means that Africa has little choice but to use hydrocarbons and green energy to power its economies and drive social improvement.
What will determine their ability to bring such reserves to market will now depend on increased stakeholder engagement and the development of meaningful, flexible and rapid solutions.
Cape Town 2022 (https://bit.ly/3DNpEk0) will be a watershed moment as the economic realities of a new world order take hold.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that global demand for oil and gas will increase and that oil demand alone will expand by 3.3 million barrels (mb/d) per day in 2022 and return to levels pre-COVID of 99.7 mb/d, a development that will provide an opportunity for African producers like Niger to expand their oil and gas industry and help meet demand.
In a bid to accelerate exploration and production to achieve this goal, Niger is making its regulatory and fiscal environment conducive to oil and gas energy market players.
The recent signing of the Niamey Declaration' between the ministries of energy of the Republic of Niger, Algeria and Nigeria during the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) Mining and Petroleum Forum (ECOMOF) in Niamey on 16 February 2022 is a game changer that will unlock the potential of the country's oil and gas sector to meet global energy demand.
The deal paves the way for the development of the multibillion-dollar, 4,128 km trans-Saharan gas pipeline project that will connect the three African countries to the European market to trade up to 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year.
A $4.5 billion 1,950 km oil pipeline project is also underway in Niger and is expected to increase the country's production capacity fivefold by 2023, once the project is operational, setting up the West African state. as an energy hub to meet both regional and continental energy needs. demand.
Furthermore, the development is expected to provide significant economic growth for the West African state. All infrastructure development projects aim to attract investment that can be used to expand the country's oil and gas industry. They also challenge the Nigerien government to expand its exploration activities to increase its oil and gas capacity portfolio so that it can play an increasing role in helping to meet local, regional and international energy demand.
“What Niger and the oil majors have managed to achieve in such a short time is impressive, showing how political will, a transparent and productive framework, and an environment conducive to investment can drive growth in the energy sector,” says NJ Ayuk. , CEO. of the African Chamber of Energy.
Despite having vast oil and gas reserves, African governments are struggling to establish attractive capital regimes for infrastructure development and exploration and production activities that would help boost economies.
With the right policies and infrastructure development, Niger's oil and gas sector is expected to account for about 24% of the country's GDP, 45% of tax revenues, 68% of exports and 8 % to 12% of formal employment by 2025.
Expenditure on exploration and production must be optimal for the West African state to harness its gas reserves for economic prosperity and energy security. Niger's oil reserves are currently estimated at 3.7 billion barrels and the country produces approximately 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day, which is refined to meet local demand and exported to Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso.
To expand its oil and gas potential, Niger has enacted policies that encourage the participation of international market players, as evidenced by the government forming an exploration and production joint venture with the China National Petroleum Corporation in 2003. A wide range of international companies including Tamoil, Mobil and Total are present in the country's oil and gas market and local gas companies Nigergaz and Sonigaz continue to expand their operations with a specific focus on exploration and production for economic growth. and energy security.
Laws such as the 2017 Petroleum Code provide companies with years of exploration and 25 years of production activities and exemption from VAT and customs duties, making Niger an attractive investment destination.
Niger's vast oil and gas resources remain untapped and discussions at African Energy Week 2022 (AEW), Africa's premier investment platform, taking place in Cape Town from October 18-21 2022, will focus on how the models are implemented in major oil and gas markets. Producers like Nigeria, Libya and Angola can be replicated to grow Niger's exploration and production.
The IEA says that Africa will be increasingly influential in shaping global energy trends over the next two decades and with the continent home to five of the world's top 30 oil producers, AEW 2022 will highlight the role it can play. regulation to unlock the investments needed to scale up oil and gas exploration and production to address energy poverty.
AEW 2022 will explore how governments and market players in Africa can attract more funding that will allow them to increase their market share in the global market.