africa development Energy environment Gas Infrastructure Natural Resources oil Tanzania

Oil & Gas companies in Tanzania committed to clean energy

Approximate reading time: 5 minutes

In light of Shell’s work in reducing environmental pollutants the event sought to award various Tanzanians for their efforts in promoting ecological safety.

 

Earlier this year, in June 2018, Shell Tanzania was a participant in the launch of the environmental day held at Mnazi Mmoja grounds in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The chief guest of honor was Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa who is currently seeking to expand environmental sustainability, a key theme within the industrial drive under President Magufuli.

The event showcased an exhibition to demonstrate innovation in products and services aimed at promoting clean energy. Shell Tanzania worked closely with the Ministry of State, the Vice President’s Office, Environment and Union Affairs to support participants who created innovative products displaying the use of renewable energy.

Currently, Shell is investing in both the marine, and heavy-duty road transport sector to provide customers with this cost-competitive and cleaner burning fuel.

In light of Shell’s work in reducing environmental pollutants the event sough to award various Tanzanians for their efforts in promoting ecological safety. The international operator recognizes the significance of climate change and the role the energy mix plays in achievement of quality lives of the people.

Shell’s plan to reduce emissions will require careful choices in their future investments to develop technologies and deploy new energy resources – including encouraging development of clean energy – natural gas being one of them.

As Tanzania embarks or becoming an energy producer, the country is keen to showcase its potential as an emerging destination for companies in the extractives industry, namely, oil and gas, and mining.

By bridging international and local entities, the Government seeks to promote an ecological friendly environment for future generations. On September 24-25th, The Government of Tanzania will be hosting its second Oil and Gas Congress in Dar es Salaam, at the Hyatt Regency, Kilimanjaro hotel.

Following the success of its first Congress held in 2017, a big theme of this year’s event will focus on clean energy and the need to build an environmentally sustainable industry, by building partnerships between the foreign investors and local market players.

As a wake-up call to the dire needs and opportunities in the offing for energy, companies in this field are urged to invest in clean energy for the future generations.

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and a few months later, signed the Paris Agreement, which came into force in November 2016.  The landmark goals clearly lay out a global consensus on the need to curb human-induced climate change and to achieve sustainable development.

To understand the gravity of the matter, about  1.2 billion  people globally have no access  to electricity  and  an  estimated  2.7 billion  people – 38 percent of the world’s population – have no access  to  modern  energy sources; instead they rely  on solid  fuels such  as  wood,  charcoal, and  animal  dung  for cooking  and  heating in 2016.

Oil and gas companies have critical and notable opportunities to help meet the world’s targets for access to safe, reliable, and modern energy, both within their own business models and together with partners.

According to Mr. Abdulsamad Abdulrahim, Vice Chairman of the Association of Tanzania’s Oil and Gas Service Providers (ATOGS), and Director of Pietro Fiorentini Tanzania, one of the hosts of next week’s congress, “the Congress will provide opportunities for oil  and  gas  companies  to harness environmentally friendly approaches to extraction. Its imperative that foreign investors build partnerships with local companies that seek to protect Tanzania’s environment.”

While Tanzania still hasn’t developed itself as an energy producer, the country’s dependency on charcoal poses grave environmental challenges. Charcoal use stands as the choice product used for fuel. Currently, nearly 70% of all households in Dar es Salaam consume charcoal. The environmental degradation is massive, impeding environmental sustainability. As a result, the government has put in place tight controls in charcoal trade to compel households to shift from using coal to employing gas.

The Journal of Environmental Protection (JEP) estimates that Tanzania is losing an estimated 150,433 ha per year translating to 2.8 million ha come 2030. Recent trends in Dar es Salaam show that households and restaurants are shifting to the use of gas.

Again, trade in natural gas is poised to become very lucrative especially now that government has been tightening rules in burning and charcoal trade.

“With Tanzania’s focus on building a country dependent on natural gas, it is important for investors to determine how to harness such opportunities. Next week’s Congress will be critical for anyone wishing to enter the industry and provide solutions to building environmentally safe energy”, said Mr. Abdulrahim.

With the massive reserves held by Tanzania, the use of natural gas as the alternative and cost-effective substitute for cleaner burning fuel is the only option currently being seen by the country. Natural gas can play a role facilitating the broader integration of renewable energy into the larger energy eco-system.

“I trust next week’s Congress will bring out not only the energy majors but also key environmental supporters and activists, as the energy game cannot be won by only one team, it needs a number of players to succeed. I’m certain if we focus on environmental sustainability as a key driver for clean energy, we’ll ensure a bright future for Tanzania, said Abdulrahim.

Only time will tell whether Tanzania can emerge as an energy major and whether it will ensure it achieves the necessary goals and targets to enable it as a clean energy provider. Let’s hope next week’s Congress acts as a catalyst for action toward renewables and one that harnesses collaboration between foreign and local investors. Only if an equitable partnership is achieved will Tanzania stand high in Africa’s energy game.

Source: The Exchange

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