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Business News of Thursday, 29 September 2022

Source: thebftonline.com

Bawumia urges balance, expeditious exploitation of petroleum

Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

The country will continue to accelerate production and utilization of its oil and gas reserves while striking a balance between its social, economic and environmental requirements and emissions, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said.

“Ghana has set a target of 2070 to fully transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

"So, even though as a government we are fully committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2070, we also have to take steps to accelerate the production and utilisation of our oil and gas reserves.

"What this means is that even though we want to contribute to reducing emissions, we are of the view that a balance must be struck and maintained in the context of our social, economic and environmental requirements,” he said.

The Vice President spoke at the Ghana International Petroleum Conference (GhIPCon 2022) in Accra and emphasised that fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, will continue to be part of the country’s energy mix in the short-term, while strategies will be put in place to increase the share of renewable energy in the mix over the medium- to long-term.

In his view, happenings on the international energy market require that Ghana and African countries that have contributed little to global emissions and have huge untapped hydrocarbon resources ought to be forward-thinking – not only in terms of energy transition but also all aspects of the energy-mix.

“For example, how do we insulate the energy sector from global economic shocks; especially, considering how the Russia-Ukraine war has affected the energy sector in the last few months?

"So, I expect this conference to become a sounding-board for our governments in the West Africa region for how we can be full participants in the energy transition process, while remaining faithful to the needs and aspirations of our people,” he further explained.

Themed ‘Energy transition in the African petroleum downstream context: prospects, challenges and the way forward’ and organised by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the three-day event brings together leading experts and policymakers in the West African petroleum downstream industry to shape its future.

For his part, NPA’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, said the demand for transportation fuels will wane over the longer-term or rapidly decline – depending on two variables: policy and technology innovation.

Consequently, he said, downstream investment and operating strategies must account for the fundamental shift in regulations and demand trends.

“The reality of fulfilling the energy transition commitment is that there will be further pressure on government spending to ensure our diversification process meets global needs. It is therefore imperative that we intensify our efforts.

“But it is not just about the pace of change. It is also about the scale of change. Every country, every sector and every company has announced its ambition to be a Net Zero Emissions energy company or society by 2050 or sooner,” Dr. Abdul-Hamid, added.

He revealed that the country’s commitment to lower emissions has, so far, culminated in the reduction of sulphur content in transport and industrial fuels from a maximum of 5000ppm to a maximum of 50ppm and the ongoing Cylinder Recirculation Model policy – which is expected to contribute in achieving LPG penetration of 50 percent by 2030.

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