Fossil fuels no doubt are critical to meeting global economic development and energy security need. Faced with the indication that the hydrocarbon economy characterized by increasing fossil fuel consumption will persist for some time to come which has brought a major concern to oil and energy sector stakeholders who are of the notion that the uncontrolled use of fossil fuels could have serious local, regional and global environmental impacts.
Apparently due to the aforementioned reasons; On April 6, stakeholders in fuel technologies met at a workshop titled "the workshop on cleaner fossil fuel technologies in Africa: Challenges and opportunities" held at Transcorp Hilton Abuja.
The 2 day workshop was jointly organised by the World Energy Council (WEC) Committee on Cleaner Fossil Fuels Systems (CFFS) and the Nigeria National Committee of the World Energy Council (NNC-WEC) in collaboration with the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN)
The workshop which attracted the likes of Professor A.S Sambo, vice chairman for Africa, world Energy Council and Director General of Energy Commission of Nigeria, professor Sergio F. Garibba, representative of WEC Cleaner Fossil Fuel Systems Committee(CFFS) and Counsellor for Energy Policy to the Minister of Economic Development , Italy.
Others are Mr. John Odey, minister of environment, Dr. Hussein El-Hag, Executive Director, African Energy Commission , Dr.Latsoucabe Fall, Manager, African region, world Energy Council; Ms. Jane B. Nyakango, director, Kenya National Cleaner Fuels Production Centre and Ms. Elena V. Nekhaev, director of programmes, world energy council.
Several others major players in the fuel technologies sector were in attendance to brainstorm on how the fossil fuel can be better enhanced for human and environment purposes. Professor Abubakar Sani Sambo, vice chair for Africa, world Energy Council and Chairman Nigeria National Committee, world energy council while welcoming the delegates to the event explained that the World Energy Congress (WEC) is the most important event and key to visibility, organisational strength and financial stability of the energy sector.
"The congress would offer opportunity for top echelon energy leaders, politicians , decision makers, investors and government representatives to come together to discuss the most important and pressing energy issues," he declared.
He disclosed that the 21st World Energy Congress comes up from 12th -16th, September, 2010 in Montreal, Canada, adding that the success of the Montreal 2010 lies in the hands of all the participants
Giving the overall objectives of the workshop he said that it is to provide in-depth understanding of clean energy, carbon capture and storage technologies and opportunities in Africa. It is also to demonstrate that clean fossil fuels systems are essential to modern energy access and African sustainable development.
He further explained that it is to enhance awareness of African energy sectors stakeholders, promotes clean energy technologies knowledge and deployment in African; help understanding cleaner fossil fuels and CCS Technology, facilitate CCS projects preparations, development and management and to create the opportunities for CCS projects in Africa.
In his opening remark, Dr. John Odey, Minister of Environment noted that the increasing fossil fuel consumption will persist sometime to come while urging local, regional and global to come together and find ways for more efficient fossil fuels combustion technologies that will mitigate the adverse consequences of the use of fossil fuels that will permit its positive qualities to be more fully harnessed for economic and social development.
He commended the gathering, saying it is a welcome idea that experts from within and outside the country are coming together to proffer lasting solutions to the challenges associated with fossil; fuel technology.
"In the Nigeria context, a critical look at the fossil fuel technologies is very relevant, as it will contribute immensely to a more reliable service in the power generation sector to meet the growing electricity demand," he posited.
While lending his voice to the gathering the minister of power Dr. Rilwan Babalola observed that the Nigeria electricity generation facility currently consists of 85 percent fossil fuel fired power plant, disclosing that the additional capacity is being planned for 2010 leading to greater percentage of fossil fuel in the power system. He disclosed further that a number of investors have indicated interest in coal power generation, which according to him is another fossil fuels.
"The challenge here is not to stop fossil based generation but to find ways for the deployment of cleaner and more efficient fossil fuels combustion technologies that will mitigate the adverse consequences of the use of fossil fuels and permit their positive qualities to be more fully harnessed for economic and social development. This workshop in Nigeria is therefore very timely, "he said.
We are confident that the workshop will lead to transfer of technical knowhow, experience sharing among participating member countries and will help promote the adoption of efficient power generation processes and cleaner fossil fuel; system leading to significant reduction in pollution,
Dr. Babalola further stated: "While commending the world Energy Council's Committee on Cleaner Fossil Fuels System and its Nigerian National Committee for organising the workshop in Nigeria, I wish to assure you that my ministry is ready to work with the World Energy Council and its Committee on Cleaner Fossil Fuels System to promote cleaner fossil fuel technologies for power generation in Nigeria. It is hoped that this workshop will lead to a meaningful sharing of know-how on cleaner and efficient fossil technologies for deployment Africa."