Guest Contributor | Feb 20, 2024 | 0
AEW 2022 is committed to exploring and investing in Africa’s Energy Future while driving an enabling environment
Africa’s energy landscape is on the precipice of a revolution driven by energy transition pressures, capital expenditure trends and socioeconomic demands. In the 2022 context, these trends have only been exacerbated by global geopolitical conflicts such as the Russia-Ukraine situation disrupting global supply networks, declining costs of renewable energy technologies enhancing green energy adoption, and the rising role of African producers in the global energy chain altering the trajectory of Africa’s energy future.
Accordingly, taking place in Cape Town from October 18-21, African Energy Week (AEW) 2022 is proud to announce its theme, ‘Exploring and Investing in Africa’s Energy Future while Driving an Enabling Environment,’ consolidating the event’s mandate to make energy poverty history by 2030 into an actionable agenda.
The solution to Africa’s energy crisis is clear: develop the continent’s natural resources and put in place the necessary infrastructure to electrify Africa. However, natural declines in legacy projects, the lack of investment in new exploration and inadequate infrastructure has caused significant delays to making energy poverty history. In this regard, and considering mounting pressures for African producers to increase production in light of global supply constraints, Africa needs to significantly improve its exploration, and both international oil companies (IOC) and national oil companies (NOC) have a role to play.
2022 is expected to be a year of exploration in Africa, with nine high impact wells in the drilling schedule, results of as many as 14 exploration licensing rounds anticipated, and sizeable discoveries already being made in high potential markets. According to the African Energy Chamber’s (AEC) Q1 2022 report, exploration in 2022 will include a mixture of majors, independents and local firms of which notable activities include Shell’s high-profile well offshore Namibia, which the major has already started drilling; Italy’s Eni conducting exploration at its Mlima-1 wildcat block in Kenya; and TotalEnergies’ exploration activities on the Venus prospect in Namibia. Despite this progress, significant levels of investment are still required if Africa is to scale-up production to meet global demand, improve domestic refining capacity, and make energy poverty history by 2030. This is why AEW 2022 has and continues to push for enhanced investment in the exploration space, because energy poverty cannot be alleviated if upstream activities do not accelerate.
“As the organizer of AEW and the voice of the African energy sector, the AEC is committed to making energy poverty history, making a strong case for a diversified and integrated energy mix in Africa. In order to achieve poverty alleviation, Africa needs to exploit every single natural resource available on the continent, including oil, gas, renewables, hydrogen and biofuels. Africa’s energy future hinges on both the capacity of the continent – in terms of human, operational and management – as well as immediate and sizable investment. This is why AEW 2022 has chosen this theme, as we believe that exploring and investing in Africa’s energy future, while driving enabling environments, will allow the continent to reach its developmental goals and lift millions out of energy poverty,” states Leon van der Merwe, AEW Conference Director.
AEW 2022 is centered around the role Africa’s resources will play in meeting global energy demand while driving a just and sustainable energy transition. Specifically, the event prioritizes natural gas, recognizing the potential of this clean and widely available resource to electrify Africa, ease Europe’s energy crisis and significantly reduce carbon emissions. In the 2022 context, whereby the war on Ukraine and the climate crisis have dramatically changed global priorities, African gas developments have emerged as the solution. In this respect, AEW 2022 is fully committed to ensuring the continent realizes its gas growth potential, and will challenge African leaders to fast-track gas project approvals specifically regarding Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
African LNG represents both a high potential and particularly lucrative market with major projects already underway across the continent. Projects such as the 3.4 million tons per annum (mtpa) Coral Floating LNG project, the 12.8 mtpa Mozambique LNG project and the 1.2 Rovuma LNG project in Mozambique as well as the $4.8 billion Grand Tortue Ahmeyim gas project co-developed by Senegal and Mauritania, represent just some of the continent’s major LNG developments underway. Gas represents a key play in Africa and will be at the forefront of AEW 2022’s event agenda.
Meanwhile, enhancing investment and development within the African gas sector will be a key driver of the continent’s just transition. The development of LNG will meet domestic and global demand, improve export earnings for key producing countries and improve infrastructure such as gas-to-power and trade. However, gas developments will also enable the development of various other sectors such as renewables and hydrogen. Accordingly, at AEW 2022, building gas projects and infrastructure that can be used for renewables will be a key focus. This replicates models utilized by international players such as Norway and Germany and will be critical for the continent as it moves towards a clean energy future.
By implementing the theme ‘Exploring and Investing in Africa’s Energy Future while Driving an Enabling Environment,’ AEW 2022 has centered all event dialogue, discussion and engagement around Africa’s energy future, recognizing the role that every energy resource, company and stakeholder has to play. In Cape Town in October, AEW 2022 will unite Africa’s energy ministers and NOCs with global investors, enabling the promotion of enabling environments so that investors can be introduced to African opportunities.
AEW 2022 is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition and networking event. AEW 2022 unites African energy stakeholders with investors and international partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as the destination for energy investments. Key organizations such as the African Petroleum Producers Organization, as well as African heavyweights including Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, have partnered with AEW, strengthening the role the event will play in Africa’s energy future.