The African Refiners & Distributors Association (ARDA), arguably the only pan-African organisation for the African downstream, is expected to hold its annual ARDA Week programme from the 11th to 13th of this month.
The event will be held virtually this year due to COVID-19 restrictions as participants converge online for the 2021 ARDA Week Conference to celebrate the organisation’s 15th anniversary.
Executive Secretary of ARDA, Anibor Kragha said in a release that the anniversary would be marked by initiatives towards the implementation of actionable roadmap to effectively transition Africa’s current primary energy mix towards a more sustainable and lower-carbon footprint.
He equally noted that the virtual conference would serve as a means of finding lasting solutions to the challenges bedevilling the future of African downstream oil industry.
Kragha disclosed that the Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Sanusi Barkindo; Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Energy of Côte d’Ivoire, Thomas Camara; Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber, NJ Ayuk are amongst the dignitaries expected to grace the occasion.
In addition, global institutions, including Vitol, Total Energies United Nations Development Programme, International Energy Agency, S&P Global Platts, Clean Cooking Alliance and the Global LPG Partnership are expected to participate at the event.
Some key African organisations participating in the event comprise Sahara Group, EGPC, Standard Bank and the Africa Finance Corporation.
Founded in 2006, ARDA is comprised of African oil refiners, importers, terminal and pipeline operators, major marketers, distributors, regulators and others.
The association is currently working with the African Union (AU) on the adoption of a harmonised, pan-African cleaner fuel specifications (10 ppm sulphur for gasoline and diesel by 2030) against the backdrop of the growing need for intra-African trade.
This is also coming as pressure mounts to reduce health and environmental issues associated with higher-sulphur petroleum products, with the continent needing about $15.7 billion to upgrade the existing 36 oil refineries, according to an earlier release by the organisation.
Apart from considering the emerging issues surrounding energy transition in the global space and the relevance for Africa, Kragha said the experts would dissect impacts and roles of technology in the energy transition plan.
They are also expected to speak on supply chain challenges for LPG adoption and avenues for securing sustainable finance to drive the energy transition agenda on the continent.