Natural gas should and will play a significant role in Africa’s energy mix to meet the demands arising from rapid population growth and economic expansion, as well as the need for affordable access to clean energy and supply security for industrialisation, according to Dr. Philip Mshelbila, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG).
Dr. Mshelbila made these remarks during a strategic session at the recently concluded 2023 Gastech Exhibition and Conference in Singapore, where he discussed Africa’s role in increasing supply resilience in the energy transition context. He stated that African gas could enhance global energy security by increasing gas production, ensuring a steady supply source despite rising domestic consumption, and the growth of floating LNG, facilitating the rapid delivery of gas products to the market.
He stressed the necessity of adopting a multi-dimensional approach to the energy transition, considering Africa’s specific context and evolving needs. Dr. Mshelbila pointed out that the continent is already capitalising on opportunities in the energy transition, utilising gas as an evolutionary energy source that offers a cleaner alternative to traditional biomass and coal. He highlighted that transitioning from polluting sources to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) can reduce emissions by up to 48%. He cited Nigeria as an example, where the government actively promotes CNG usage in the transportation sector to expand gas utilisation and drive progress across various industries.
Dr. Mshelbila also noted that Africa is maximising opportunities in the growing LNG market, increasing its production capacity to substantially contribute to global supply. He added that Africa is emerging as a critical global gas supply source, with production expected to double, solidifying the continent’s role in global energy security.
“The largest gas markets in Africa remain Algeria and Nigeria, which account for at least 55% of the continent’s gas reserves. However, exciting new gas markets are emerging across the continent, especially in LNG developments in Mozambique, Senegal, the Congo, and Tanzania,” he stated.
Furthermore, Dr. Mshelbila stated that efforts are underway to develop inter-regional gas supply pipelines to facilitate the movement of gas resources from West Africa to North Africa and beyond, promoting intercontinental trade.
Regarding the energy transition, he highlighted Africa’s progress in the field of hydrogen. He said that when produced using Africa’s abundant gas resources in conjunction with renewables, hydrogen can position the continent as a major hydrogen exporter in the near future.
In conclusion, Dr. Mshelbila emphasised that Africa is taking a proactive, region-specific approach that leverages its unique strengths and resources, offering promise for a sustainable energy future and a crucial role in the global energy transition.
The Gastech Exhibition and Conference is a significant platform for professionals in the natural gas, LNG, hydrogen, low-carbon solutions, and climate technologies industries to discuss the latest developments in the sector. NLNG actively participated in strategic leadership sessions and the exhibition.