Becoming deliberate in the quest for renewable energy –  Tony Attah.

By Anthony Isibor.

AS many countries of the world keep moving from one source of energy to a more reliable and environmentally friendly source, Nigeria seems to be lagging behind. While the world is already advancing to the harnessing of hydrogen as a more healthy and eco-friendly source of energy.

Tony Attah, managing director and chief executive officer liquefied Natural Gas, LNG Limited and the vice president of Bonny Gas, has described the numerous advantages of switching to a more reliable source of energy.

Speaking at a conference organized by the Nigeria Gas Association, NGA, Attah noted that when it comes to energy, Africa is considered as the ‘Dark Continent’, over 50 percent of Africa has no access to energy and Nigeria is even considered in this to be worst hit when it comes to electricity.

The world has continued to evolve, especially as it relates to energy; the search for cleaner energy has been a quest from the earliest time of civilization. From manpower to stone, to oil/gas, to coal and more recently, to renewable energy.  The world doesn’t just need cleaner energy, it needs it in more affordably and most importantly, in a more reliable and secure manner not in epileptically as some may have experienced.

Attah has considered Africa and Nigeria access to renewable energy at this time from a global perspective.

According to him, while the transition to Cleaner energy has arrived, Nigeria continues to be dependent on oil. He, however, argued that Nigeria’s biggest opportunity is not oil but gas. This is based on a per-barrel equivalent basis. We keep saying it is time for gas, but we have refused to show examples and replicate on the achievement of other countries.

Whether we choose to take the step or to accelerate gas or not, the world will not wait for us as a country, or as Africans. The world will keep moving forward.

‘’Since we started talking about renewable, there have been a lot of conversations around solar, around wind, around hydro, but most importantly there is a new kid on the block that is about to take our lunch; and that is hydrogen.

‘’Hydrogen as most of you know is that hydrogen is found in air composition, but is also water,

‘’By 2017, japan was already ahead in terms of technological study around how to rack hydrogen out of water. The war of the future is not going to be about oil and gas, but about water. And the world has an abundance of hydrogen.

‘’Japan may not be as lucky as we are in terms of the presence of oil and gas deposits, but in Japan in the next 20 years will be driving their cars on water.

Attah believes that what happened to coal may also happen to oil, though not now but eventually and that Nigeria may not be relevant at that time if she does not make her move now.

‘’Oil will take a little slack; it may not completely become irrelevant because from findings, Oils global demand will rise by more than 30% in the next 20-30.

‘’As we all know, there is still coal in Enugu. For those from the 50s, we can imagine that the biggest economy at the time was underpinned by coal; both the locomotives and power was about coal. But today no one talks about Enugu with respect to energy. So energy is in full transition and we believe it is time to monetize Nigeria’s gas.

‘’Coal is taking a back bunker today even though there are still a lot of countries that are heavily dependent on it, the environmental implication is, however, forcing them to shift to gas. And they are beginning to see the benefits.

Attah believes that gas will be more relevant and that Nigeria has enough of it.  He urged the Nigerian state and the relevant stakeholders to be more deliberate about the issue of renewable energy.

‘’It is time to be deliberate about gas. And that is why we must talk about Nigeria and its biggest opportunity.

‘’Our population is the biggest resources that we have, over two hundred million  people, two hundred Trillion Cubic Feet, TCF of gas proven at P2 level, but most importantly, we have another six hundred TCF scope for recovery.

‘’Indeed we have the number 9 largest gas reserve,  but when we scoop the six hundred TCF, we go straight to number 4 just behind Turkmenistan, Iran, and the other bigger gas producing nations.

‘’The opportunity and potential is great, but as it is, potential is nothing unless we make it count,’’ he said.

Nigeria is advised to take advantage of this opportunity along with the rest of the world before it becomes too late.

‘’Today Nigeria is gas-rich and energy-poor, it is incumbent that we have to talk about what we can do with gas.  It is time to take advantage of this resource and start to monetize it.

‘’As the world is transiting, there is risk on us, and it will get to a time when even the gas just like oil, in the future, becomes even less relevant.

‘’If technology, which I believe is the biggest ‘’destruction’’ takes center stage to make hydrogen more available and easier to access, then we have a bigger issue.

According to him, Qatar moved from a poor fishing country to a gas giant in just 10 years and that is why the Nigeria LNG believes the conversation and the narrative about the declaration of the decade of gas. “We believe it is possible,’’ he said.

According to the CEO, it is not enough to talk about it, the Nigeria government must be deliberate about her efforts and plan toward transitioning to a more cleaner energy source.

‘’In 1995 when Qatar went into gas development, Nigeria was just 2 years behind them. Qatar’s first gas LNG was in 1997, while Nigeria’s first LNG was in 1999. But in 10 years because of being deliberate, Nigeria had to focus on gas, they have gone to seventy-seven million tons, while we are at best still at twenty-two tons.

While we may celebrate the taking of the Final Investment Decision, FID of 8 million tons on the Trail 7 project, this FID will only take us to thirty million tons; Qatar has just taken FID for thirty million tons.

He promised that the Nigeria LNG, will continue to deliver value to the nation, and believes that it is a success story that can be made much bigger.

‘’Nigeria currently has 23 dedicated ships, taking our flag all round the world, showing names like LNG Finima, LNG Bonny, LNG Rivers, we are showcasing Nigeria, we remain that biggest made in Nigeria product, establishing the presence of Nigeria globally.

‘’Having contributed more than one hundred billion dollars in revenue to the nation, thirty-five billion dollars in dividend, and eight billion in taxes, since we became a tax payer, we think tapping more of gas is the way to go.

‘’Trail 7 is an opportunity, but at the back of what Qatar has done, we think trail 7 is no longer ambitious if we are really going to make it count,

‘’Most importantly, we are using what we have and growing on it. We fully support the ambition to push on the Decade of Gas, we remain the galvanizing platform for the decade of gas and we offer ourselves as partners to the government,

‘’We say we are available, if you can produce the gas, we can take it. LNB is ready to break the old conversation around, ‘show me the market’, I will produce and the market says show me the gas and I will buy it,’’ he said.

To elaborate on the importance of hydrogen as a source of energy, he quoted Timipre Silver, the minister of state for petroleum resources, as saying; ‘’gas is food, in fertilizer, gas is seen in the autogas project, gas is life, for cooking, heating, and for existence. Gas is development, in manufacturing, and gas is power’’.

‘’Gas is the future, and that future is now.

‘’Our degree of vulnerability is directly proportional to our degree of dependence on oil,’’ he said

-March 01 2021 @ 18:50 PM