23 Jun 2023 10:59

Gazprom prepared to help African countries develop gas production, use

MOSCOW. June 23 (Interfax) - Gazprom is prepared to help develop natural gas production and use in African countries, the Russian gas giant said at an international roundtable in Johannesburg on the benefits of gas for consumers and the economy.

The roundtable was attended by representatives of business communities, experts and reporters from nine African countries, including Algeria, Angola, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and South Africa.

"Taking into account the South African government's policy to decarbonize the economy, gas could become an effective means of meeting demand for energy, since renewable energy sources cannot ensure uninterrupted supplies. In this regard, I believe that Gazprom's experience implementing liquefied natural gas and gas pipeline construction projects could be of interest to South African partners," Russian Ambassador Ilya Rogachev was quoted as saying in the press release.

"Greater use of natural gas will help Africa solve a whole range of problems, from economic to social and environmental. We believe that Africa should fully discover the advantages of this fuel for itself," the head of Gazprom's foreign economic activities department, Dmitry Khandoga said.

"We see potential in cooperation with African countries and can offer our unique experience and technological know-how. Gazprom is open to discussing constructive and mutually beneficial proposals that would facilitate economic development and improve the lives of people in African countries," Khandoga said.

The chairman of the African Energy Chamber, NJ Ayuk said more than 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have electricity, and 900 million people, most of them women, do not have access to clean cooking technologies. Either they do not exist or they are insufficient, and solving this problem alone is sufficient reason to use the continent's rich gas reserves, he said.

In Africa, which needs industrialization, affordable and abundant natural gas will help create many new jobs and opportunities for capacity building, economic diversification and growth, Ayuk said.

The participants discussed the role of natural gas in Africa's sustainable development. It was noted that the availability of energy remains a problem in most countries on the continent and its consumption is several times lower than the global average.

Meanwhile, experts estimate that Africa will account for more than 60% of global population growth by 2050. Along with urbanization in the region, there is expected to be substantial economic growth, which will be accompanied by a twofold increase in energy consumption. Demand for natural gas is expected to grow by 150%.

Increasing natural gas production will help meet the growing energy demand, roundtable participants said.

"However, at present most of the gas extracted here is exported. For example, one in three residents of Nigeria, Africa's largest LNG exporter, does not have access to energy. Therefore, it is the accessibility of energy for industry and households that will be of foremost importance for Africa's dynamic development," Gazprom said.

The participants also discussed the advantages of using natural gas over other types of energy. It was noted that air pollution is an important problem for Africa, with statistics showing it is one of the main causes of premature deaths on the continent. This problem will only worsen with time, but natural gas offers an effective solution for all the main areas that cause air pollution.

The potential role of gas in solving food problems was also noted at the roundtable. In addition to the fact that gas does not require large areas of land for electricity generation and does not reduce crop areas, it is also a valuable raw material for production of fertilizers that make it possible to significantly increase yields.

Representatives of PJSC Gazprom and group companies Gazprom Gasification, Gazprom Energoholding (GEH) and Gazprom Helium Service spoke at the event. They talked about Gazprom's operations and presented a broad range of competencies that the company has along the whole value chain of the gas business.

Meanwhile, on the same day, Gazprom disclosed the parameters of an updated long-term development program for 2024-2033. The group removed the indicator for gas market share in the European region from its list of strategic targets. It also decided to prepare proposals for updating the indicators for fall-winter peak capacity in the area of the unified gas supply system and productivity of production infrastructure in the area of the gas supply system in peak regime during fall-winter period.