Newly appointed executive secretary of the African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARA) Anibor Kragha has called for urgent financing to upgrade oil refineries and associated infrastructure to avoid premature deaths caused by air pollution in developing economies.
Speaking ahead of the ARA Week 2020 conference, to be held virtually from October 5 to 7, Kragha said “not only do we need cleaner fuels but also cleaner vehicles to achieve the cleaner air that will prevent the premature deaths that other developing economies around the world have experienced”.
According to the World Health Organisation, each year, air pollution causes seven-million premature deaths, of which 600 000 are children.
“We need to urgently attract the financing needed to upgrade our refineries and complementary pipelines, depots and terminals, with rigorous analysis of the socioeconomic and supply security benefits of each of these investments, which may often compete with each other,” he explained.
It is for this reason that the ARA has prioritised a two-step path to the future: first, clean fuels; and second, climate change mitigation policies.
Ultimately, an economic, efficient, safe, secure and sustainable supply chain for clean fuels is essential to address public health concerns, avoid energy poverty and drive industrial expansion and trade across Africa, which the ARA hopes to advance during its upcoming conference.
The ARA was formed in 2006 to provide a pan-African voice for the African oil supply, refining and distribution industry. It represents refiners, product importers, storage companies, marketers and government regulators.