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Sahara Group To Achieve Zero Carbon Emission By 2060, Seek Sustainable Development In Africa

In its quest for sustainable development, Sahara Group, including Asharami Energy, Egbin Power Plant, and Ikeja Electric, has pledged to achieve zero carbon emissions from its oil and gas operations by 2060.

This commitment, which was disclosed at a forum with journalists tagged: “Carbon Footprint And The African Narrative” held by Sahara Group and the Asharami Square in Lagos, was shared by Sahara Group sister companies like Asharami Energy, Egbin Power Plant, and Ikeja Electric, and is aimed at significantly reducing carbon emissions and earn carbon credits for a sustainable future.

According to the company, it has alongside its sister companies in the energy value chain have started arrangements to reduce carbon emissions and earn carbon credit for a sustainable future.

Speaking on the company’s strategic approach to decarbonising Africa’s upstream operations, Wole Ajeigbe, Group Project Manager at Asharami Energy emphasised efforts across its seven oil-producing assets in Nigeria.

Ajeigbe detailed Sahara Energy’s incremental plan to achieve net zero emissions by reducing and minimising carbon output annually. Key initiatives include eliminating gas flaring, reducing freshwater usage, and implementing Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS). Sahara Energy is also the first African company to join the global CCUS forum, showcasing its commitment to sustainable practices.

The company is also progressing with gas commercialisation projects slated for completion by 2025-2026. Ajeigbe stressed the importance of government support through tax incentives, risk mitigation, and capital availability to stimulate investment in decarbonisation projects.

On her part, Ms. Ogochukwu Onyelucheya, Chief Commercial Officer at Ikeja Electric, emphasised the importance of understanding the carbon footprint and its implications.

She explained, “The footprint we look at encompasses everything we do, marking carbon emissions in our environment and energy sectors. While Africa’s contribution to global carbon emissions is low, we must avoid the mistakes made by developed countries and solve our problems faster.”

She also discussed Africa’s energy transition, highlighting the need to leverage local resources. “Lagos, for instance, should be powered by hydropower given its wetland resources. By focusing on renewable energy sources like solar and hydropower, we can reduce reliance on the national grid and lower energy costs,” she stated.

Ejiro Gray, Director of Governance and Sustainability at Sahara Group, outlined various strategies to mitigate carbon emissions, including natural gas development, renewable energy expansion, and protection of natural carbon sinks, adding that already, the company is also promoting tree planting initiatives and youth awareness campaigns to enhance sustainability.

“Protecting and rehabilitating Africa’s natural carbon sinks, such as forests, oceans, coastal mangroves, wetlands and grasslands can significantly aid in mitigating the effects of climate change”, Gray said, adding that these developing intentional policies and investments on protecting the continent’s carbon sinks would enhance carbon sequestration and reduce net emissions.

She said these natural landscapes act as significant carbon reservoirs, absorbing and storing carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere, adding that developing reforestation and afforestation programs, implementing strict conservation policies, and providing financial incentives for conservation projects are critical for combating climate change in Africa.

According to Gray, Natural Gas Development and Commercialisation, Increase Use of Renewables, investment in low-cost / low emissions clean energy solutions, Carbon Capture Storage / Carbon Capture and Reutilisation are other factors that can help accelerate Africa’s march towards sustainability.

“Natural gas presents a viable opportunity to serve as a transition fuel as Africa continues to gradually invest in renewable energy. It is a relatively clean-burning fossil fuel, producing fewer CO₂ emissions compared to coal or petroleum. In 2021, Africa’s natural gas reserves totalled over 620 trillion cubic feet.

“By developing and monetising these reserves through processing and eventual usage of CNG, LNG, LPG and other gas products, Africa can leverage its natural gas resources to support sustainable energy development,” Gray noted.

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