Westin Paris Vendome hosted opening remarks of industry professionals from the African and European energy sectors as AEC’s  Invest in African Energy Forum got underway.

The Westin Paris Vendome hosted the opening remarks of industry professionals from the African and European energy sectors as the African Energy Chamber’s (AEC) Invest in African Energy Forum got underway.

The innovative forum acts as a catalyst for accelerating European investments in energy projects in Africa while also creating new bilateral ties to strengthen the fruitful partnership between these two regions.

The opening ceremony of African Energy Forum saw addresses by Hon. Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy of the Republic of Namibia; H.E. Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Congo; Ministerial remarks: H.E. Didier Budimbu Ntubuanga, Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Democratic Republic of Congo; NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC; Per Magnus Nysveen, Senior Partner & Chief Analyst, Rystad Energy; Benoît de la Fouchardière, CEO, Perenco and Eric Melet, CEO Rail & Logistics Solutions, Africa Global Logistics.

It is not merely a transition; rather, it is a journey, and that journey begins in Paris. The journey has been so greatly impacted by Paris. “It is really important that we move to drive deals, approve projects, create opportunities, and drive investment. This is the city where the climate agreements were signed, and it cannot be a real agreement without us talking about a just energy transition,” said Ayuk in his opening statement. We must make significant progress in terms of the finances and closing deals. Make the baby sign.

H.E. Minister Itoua emphasised that “We want to use the gas we have” when discussing the progress the Congo has made with regard to gas monetization. Our project to produce gas is currently under construction. We may begin exporting liquefied natural gas in Q4 2023 at a rate of 600,000 tonnes annually, and by 2025, we hope to have reached 3 million tonnes.

The Minister stated, “We will have a petrol code which will be implemented at the end of the year with the help of the World Bank, and we will launch a promotion campaign for petrol soon.” The Minister also noted that an institutional framework to provide incentives to oil companies was planned. The best transitional energy is gas.

The DRC, according to H.E. Minister Ntubuanga, “has great potential for hydrocarbons. We have everything confirmed and a PSC in place for the three gas blocks we have in Lake Kivu. The call for tenders has ended, and we are analysing the submissions to determine how to negotiate the contracts. There are 22 billion barrels of oil potential in the DRC. In order to encourage investment, we are developing legal incentives.

European players, armed with their knowledge and resources, have an increasingly significant role to play in financing and developing African hydrocarbons as the continent works to fully utilise its oil and gas resources.

“We understand that you come to Africa to invest,” said Hon. Alweendo. It’s a business, so we need to know how you feel, what will make investing simpler, and what we can do to persuade you to sign contracts. There will be a significant conference from October 16–20 that will highlight the value of investing in Africa.

Looking ahead, Africa’s energy landscape is on the verge of a rapid transformation, with continental players pursuing an energy transition that is equitable and takes into account all resources, despite external shocks that continue to have an impact on oil and gas development.

“I always bring up energy addition when I discuss the energy transition in Africa. The idea is that everything must take place at once, not that it is either/or. Many investments are being made in the continent, primarily in the oil and gas industries, according to Nysveen.

The importance of the logistics sector has grown as the energy sector in Africa develops. “Logistics has a role to play in supporting the change in energy availability in Africa,” Melet said in this context. Our goal is to help the continent by offering industry-specific logistics tailored to each client’s needs, enhancing connectivity between Africa and the rest of the world, and assisting in the development of a virtual logistics ecosystem.

On top of that, de la Fouchardière added, “We want to act. You say “drill baby drill,” “sign baby sign,” and “produce baby produce,” while we say the opposite. Eight exploration wells have been drilled, one significant discovery has been made, and six months after the contract was signed, production has just begun in a new field in the Congo.

These speeches marked the official beginning of the African Energy Forum, which served as a link between African and European participants.