The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd says natural gas will play a significant role in Africa’s energy mix.
Philip Mshelbila, managing director of NLNG, spoke at the 2023 Gastech exhibition and conference in Singapore.
He said gas as an energy source would meet the demands arising from rapid population growth and economic expansion.
Mshelbila said it would also create affordable access to clean energy and supply security for industrialisation.
He said African gas could enhance global energy security by increasing production, ensuring a steady supply source, and facilitating the rapid delivery of products to the market.
He added that it is necessary to adopt a multidimensional approach to the energy transition, considering Africa’s specific context and evolving needs.
Mshelbila said the continent is utilising gas as 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) could reduce emissions by about 48 percent.
Mshelbila, who cited Nigeria as an example, said the government is actively promoting CNG usage in the transportation sector to expand gas utilisation and drive progress across various industries.
He said Africa is maximising opportunities in the growing LNG market and increasing production capacity to substantially contribute to global supply.
“Africa is emerging as a critical global gas supply source, with production expected to double, solidifying the continent’s role in global energy security,” Andy Odeh, general manager of external relations and sustainable development at NLNG, quoted Mshelbila as saying.
“The largest gas markets in Africa remain Algeria and Nigeria, which account for at least 55 percent 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.”
Mshelbila said efforts are underway to develop inter-regional supply pipelines to facilitate the movement of gas resources from West to North Africa and beyond — promoting intercontinental trade.
When produced using Africa’s abundant gas resources in conjunction with renewables, Mshelbila said hydrogen could position the continent as a major exporter in the near future.
He said Africa is adopting a proactive and region-specific approach to energy, leveraging its unique strengths and resources for a sustainable future and a crucial role in the global energy transition.