Oil refiners and distributors have called for more investment in petroleum products storage and distribution in Africa at a virtual workshop hosted by the African Refiners & Distributors Association (ARDA).
According to Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper, ARDA’s event focussed on delivering strategies for coordinating storage and distribution to support the expected increase in demand for petroleum products in Africa. Participants warned that without investment in modern infrastructure, Africa will struggle transition to cleaner energy sources and reduce deforestation as part of efforts to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
ARDA’s executive secretary Anibor Kragha said that leaders in Africa need to develop a coordinated energy transition roadmap towards making storage and distribution investments, including in terminals pipelines, railways and ports. He said that the African Union Commission and Arda had recently met to discuss the investment that would be necessary to upgrade African refineries to produce cleaner fuels.
‘A similar study needs to be conducted to determine the corresponding storage and distribution investments needed to transport the cleaner fuels efficiently and safely across Africa,’ he added.
Attendees also discussed regional, multi-country pipeline initiatives in western and southern Africa, according to Vanguard, and how investment could reduce costs in the longer term.
‘By ensuring a minimum port draft of 14 metres which enables medium range tankers to discharge directly, African ports can save up to US$15 per ton of imported products. Additional cost savings will be gained from a reduction in port congestion and demurrage,’ said Feiko Jager of Riverlake, a global leader in ports optimisation projects.
Those at the workshop also discussed topics such as oil and LPG terminal investments in Burkina Faso and Nigeria, digitalisation of storage tanks and loading trucks in Senegal, and Kenya Pipeline Company’s strategy for expanding its assets and operations across the Great Lakes area, which covers Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda.