By SANDRA MACHIMA
THERE is need for increased integration through investment in rail, road and pipeline and fuel strategic storage facilities, for Zambia and Africa to make industrialization a reality in line with African Union roadmap, the energy expert Johnstone Chikwanda has said.
Mr Chikwanda said now that Africa wanted to industrialize, there was need for increased investment as opportunities lie in building refinery capacity, storage, pipeline transportation, petrol stations, fuel management systems, port infrastructure, bio-fuel crops and natural gas extraction for electricity generation.
He said as governments continued to eliminate energy poverty, there would be increased demand for oil and gas to support electricity generation.
Mr Chikwanda said this was in line with his presentation he expected to make during the 22nd World Petroleum Congress to be held in Istanbul, Turkey next week, in his paper titled “Opportunities and Challenges in the Sub Sahara Africa Petroleum Value Chain.”
Mr Chikwanda’s presentation sessions would as well deal with new approaches for delivering products to consumers and Energy Poverty Alleviation Measures respectively.
“There is need for increased integration through investment in rail, road and pipeline and fuel strategic storage facilities.
It is mind boggling that despite having oil and gas enough to meet and exceed Africa’s total requirement, the continent is a net importer of fuel, and Africa is the new global frontier for oil and gas discoveries.”
He encouraged African countries to improve trade among themselves, adding that Africa would be home to 1.5 to 2 billion people by 2050, as estimated by the United Nations.
He said the population boom would also push energy demand to grow by 88 percent between 2014 and 2035, becoming the centre stage for investment.
Mr Chikwanda encouraged investors to embrace Africa’s new way of doing business which was now leaning towards partnerships in order to increase local content leading to sustainable local economic empowerment.
While in Turkey, Mr Chikwanda would also show case investment opportunities in the Zambian context with a major focus on oil and gas exploration, fuel storage facilities, fuel management systems, electricity generation and other blue and red ocean opportunities.