By Eboagwu Austine N. Monday
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber is leading advocacy for Africa’s “Freiheits Gas” for Europe as alternative to Russian Gas.
According to him, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has expanded the meaning of “energy transition” in Europe.
He said, “The world is wondering, and rightfully so, if Africa’s gas reserves — an estimated 221.6 trillion cubic feet — could be part of the energy solution Europe so desperately needs.”
“My answer: Yes, African countries can help fill the gap. They can provide the “Freiheits Gas” that will wrest Europe from its dependence on Russian pipelines.
“But with the U.K. phasing out Russian oil imports following the U.S.’s ban — and more EU countries expected to follow suit — this time the transition refers to finding new hydrocarbon sources.
He lamented that “For several years now, European countries, financial institutions, and environmental activities have been placing immense pressure on African countries to abandon gas reserves and make an immediate switch to green energy.
“More recently, this pressure has gone further, interfering with foreign investments in African natural gas projects.
“During the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, for example, more than 20 countries and financial institutions pledged to stop public financing for overseas fossil fuel projects.
“So, yes, let’s work with European countries to help them lessen their dependence on Russian gas, but let’s not fail to meet the pressing needs of African nations at the same time.
Currently, Russia supplies about a third of Europe’s crude oil imports and nearly half of its natural gas, some 150 to 190 billion cubic meters of gas per year. It will require a producer with sizable resources to take Russia’s place.
Ayuk is also the CEO of the Centurion International AG, the first African company to be listed on the Dusseldorf stock exchange in Germany.