NIMASA preparing for renewable energy future, says Peterside

NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside (left), presenting plaques to Bank Anthony Okoroafor of PETAN and Dr. Ernest Nwapa at the recently concluded Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said it was already developing policies for a gradual and smooth transition from intense wet cargo operations, which is the sector’s major income earner, to the inevitable era of renewable energy.

The NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who disclosed this, noted that though the sector had benefitted extensively from oil exploration and exploitation, including limited technology and skills transfer, it was time for the opportunities and associated risk of the gradual shift towards renewable energy.

Peterside, in a paper on “the Effects of Global Energy Transformation” at the Africa Regional Workshop during the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, stressed the need for new logistics dynamics to bring about logistics diversification.

This is because there might be no need for huge vessels and intercontinental shipment of both crude and refined products in years to come, a statement from the NIMASA Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi, read.

“We at NIMASA are working to create a new framework to maximise opportunities provided by renewable energy so (that) the world does not leave us behind,” he said. “As a maritime administration, we are taking conscious steps to put the necessary building blocks for an era of renewable energy, when exploration and exploitation of oil and gas and all associated logistics will no longer play a major role.”

For the continent to be ready and take advantage of renewable energy, he said all African countries “must invest in quality tailor-made education for a future without much income from fossil fuel and focused mainly on harnessing potentials of renewable energy, which abound in our country.”

Towards the same end, he disclosed that NIMASA was partnering other government agencies in research and projects into the immediate and long term future of the nation’s maritime industry.

“Our partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board to identify the types of vessels that Nigerians should acquire to guarantee good business and return-on-investment in the immediate and long term is part of our focus on the future,” Peterside explained.

Therefore, he urged the West and Sub-Sahara Africa to emphasise technology-driven process, research and education, stating that though there would be a 60 per cent increase in Africa energy demand by 2030, and hydrocarbons still playing major role in the energy mix, the shift to renewable energy would also be significant.

Similarly, the Chairman, Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Bank-Anthony Okoroafor, noted that the second energy revolution in the 1970s, which saw petroleum energy become the major source of energy and replaced coal, which had provided over 62 per cent of world energy needs in the 1920s, should indicate what to expect as the world gravitates towards renewable energy.According to him, “the cost of solar energy generation in 2015 has decreased to as low as one sixth the cost in 2005, and is still crashing daily. With the mass production of electric cars, it is pertinent to note that in no distant future, the ‘petroleum age’ will become a thing of the past, just like coal.”

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