Nina Febo: Thank you very much for supporting the Mozambique Gas Virtual Summit. FNB will be speaking in a session about Energy Transition. What do you believe the role of gas to be, in helping to achieve today´s energy transition goals?
Keith Webb: Gas power generator technologies are very flexible and can typically be started up quickly – which makes them ideal to balance variable power generation from renewable solar and wind power. As such, gas power generation can form a powerful enabler of the renewable energy transition. In addition, gas (particularly LNG) as a fuel results in a cleaner burn – far cleaner than diesel. They are also very efficient which means more electricity for less carbon-dioxide emitted. In a “closed-cycle” format, gas turbines can be even more efficient as a baseload power supply to replace coal-fired power.
NF: Historically, coal has been widely used and one of the cheapest energy sources, making it very challenging to promote coal-to-gas switching. How can coal to gas reflect on savings?
KW: Coal-fired power was historically preferred as coal was readily available and easy to mine, easily handled and transported and therefore cheap as a source of primary power. The concern with coal is the broader cost to society in terms of emissions. This now recognised through “carbon taxes”. In many instances, the coal resource around power stations built in the 1970’s has been depleted so new, cleaner technologies can and should be used to generate power. Recently, there have been substantial discoveries of gas (as in Mozambique) and the technology to transport this around the globe through liquefaction has improved substantially. The gas supply chain (upstream gas production, liquefaction, shipping, importation, and trucking or piping and regasification) needs to continually improve its attractiveness to compete against coal. A big driver of this is spreading the substantial upfront capital investment across greater volumes. This requires growth in the user base – firstly through gas fired power stations in conjunction with renewables; and secondly the use of gas directly for heating.
NF: Renewable energy is still widely viewed as having a high initial capital cost? Are there any subsidies available for renewable energy development?
KW: This is not entirely true as renewable solar photovoltaic power is now far cheaper to produce than other forms of power. Renewable power facilities have very limited operating costs, so the key to making renewable power cheaper is to amortise the upfront capital cost across the full life of the asset through longer term funding (longer than 15 years). The cost of that funding is very reliant on having well-structured procurement programmes offering bankable power purchase agreements with credit-worthy off-takers. Development financiers have a role to support commercial lenders to mitigate country risks and assist through tenor extending products. In some instances, they also bring concessional funding to the table.
NF: With so much emphasis on a net-zero carbon world, how do you see natural gas supporting the uptake of renewable energy?
KW: The larger cost with renewable power is not the renewable power itself, it is creating the consistent supply. Industrial processes need stable supply, so to enable cheap renewable energy requires support from gas power. The mix of renewable and gas becomes a very cost-effective overall solution for grid power. Batteries and other storage techniques (hydro-pump storage) are currently expensive but are easy to use for small scale home use e.g. lighting. Technology advancements in this space resulting in reduced costs of batteries will form an important alternative to gas – but the technology is still in early stages.
NF: You will be speaking at the Mozambique Gas Virtual Summit in a few weeks. What are you the most looking forward to?
KW: I’m looking forward to engaging on not only gas developments in Mozambique, but also what these mean for the development of Mozambique and the region along the broader power value chain.
Nina Febo: You are the COO of Anglo Eurasia Power Africa, could you tell us a little more about the company and its mission?
Robin Sutherland: Anglo Eurasia Power Africa LLC is a consultancy with a mission to assist African countries to maximize the value of their considerable natural resources to power economic growth while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
NF: We understand you are working on a gas to power project to be developed in Mozambique and with a regional reach – could you tell us a little more about the project?
RS: As we all know, and will be discussing at the Summit at the end of the month, massive gas resources have been discovered offshore northern Mozambique and these need to be utilised for the direct benefit of the people of Mozambique and the broader southern African region. Our project involves the construction of a large and highly efficient gas to power plant next to the LNG facilities to satisfy current and future electricity demand in Mozambique, facilitate economic growth in the region through the provision of relatively cheap energy and create value through export to the southern African power pool.
NF: There are a number of gas projects proposed for the region. Are there particular reasons why your project makes unique sense?
RS: The scale of our project provides immediate benefits in terms of both cost and efficiency for the power plant itself, resulting in the provision of electricity with the lowest possible greenhouse gas emissions at a reasonable price which will make other industries, such as petrochemicals and future LNG plants, more effective as they will not need to create their own power. Distance to market has always been a challenge for the Southern African Power Pool but our project makes use of the best technology to solve that particular problem. By taking advantage of infrastructure already in place (the gas production facilities for LNG and the exiting Apollo power line to South Africa), this is the most cost-effective way to provide power to both countries.
NF: Do you have experience of other projects of similar magnitude and complexity?
RS: Yes. The TAPP project, which involves construction of a similar gas to power plant in gas rich Turkmenistan and export of that electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan, is of similar scale and is currently in progress. We will bring the same proven project manager and technology provider to our project in Mozambique.
NF: You are speaking at the Mozambique Gas Virtual Summit in October, what are you the most looking forward to at the event?
RS: In our current COVID-19 impacted world the opportunity to network with old friends and make new contacts is greatly appreciated. I am particularly looking forward to the spotlight session on day 2, highlighting the masterplan for Cabo Delgado and the development of Pemba as a gas city which is massively exciting for Mozambique and the region. I look forward to interesting discussions, understanding the various projects being proposed and seeing how our project can help them to work effectively and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.
Nina Febo, Conference Producer, dmg events: You are the co-founder of Mozambique Women of Energy (MWE), could you tell us a little more about the mission and any achievements you are particularly proud of thus far?
Taciana Peao Lopes, co-founder, MWE: Since the start of MWE in 2017 we have engaged with our community to help to involve more women in the oil and gas industry and had the opportunity to have the Netherlands Enterprise Agency as a key partner that believed in MWE and made this initiative a reality.
We are very proud of our CONNECT (face-to-face) sessions which are full of human energy with initiatives such as “Good Morning Local Content” or “Are you the Captain of your own flight?”, that have counted the presence of several women that helped us define our vision and mission. MWE participation in the TED x Maputo which was also a big milestone for us. On the THINK pillar some of our MWEs have been actively engaged in the review and drafting of policy and legal instruments related with access to energy and electricity.
Recently, MWE received recognition for our work with Mama Graça Machel and we delighted with her time as MWE’s patron which has helped us to do and achieve more.
Furthermore, launching a full ride scholarship for a PhD program with the Doyenne Initiative (Doyenne Reliability Engineering Program (DREP)) has been a great achievement. The initiative will seek to award scholarships to 12 – 15 female Mozambican nationals for the completion of 2-month technical certification course in Maputo run by the University of Maryland (UMD) with the 2+ best performing students continuing on to complete Masters or PhD degrees at UMD in the United States.
NF: You are also the Founder and Managing Director of a successful energy law firm in Mozambique, TPLA – if you could give one piece of advice to young women who are considering working in the energy industry, what would it be
TPL: I would ask them the following question: “What would you be able to achieve if you were not afraid of pursuing your dreams?”.
We need to be proactive, that means: be responsible, act in conscience and in accordance with your values and principles, know your limits, and (re)imagine the future!
NF: I understand renewable energy is a topic close to your heart – can you tell us a little bit about how Mozambique is doing on its path toward decarbonization?
TPL: There is a growing recognition of the importance of decarbonization worldwide and by the Mozambican Government and this is portrayed in the Government’s Five-Year Plan and the National Program for Sustainable Development.
The Government of Mozambique has acknowledged the importance of a diverse energy mix in the light of the abundance of natural resources present in the country. Mozambique’s energy mix is moving from hydropower to a more diversified energy base that includes untapped coal, gas, wind and solar resources. Hydropower accounts for approximately 81% of installed capacity, however over the past decade there have been significant discoveries of coal and natural gas reserves that may have the potential to change the energy mix.
Renewable energy is recognized as an important source of reliable power for the country. There is a significant solar and wind potential and there are a number of Programs both on the on-grid and off-grid space: PROLER, GetFIT, Get.Invest, Get Transform, BRILHO, ACE, AECF, Beyond the Grid (to start at the end of year), amongst others. With the roll out of some of these initiatives, we can see a rise in the number of companies that provide renewable energy solutions and this shows that there is an increased awareness amongst the population about sustainability as well as an increase in demand from consumers.
A determining factor towards decarbonization in Mozambique will be how the Mozambican government and LNG operators manage their operations. If carbon emissions are not carefully monitored and regulated, the country will have a difficult time lowering its emissions.
NF: MWE is very active in training and developing local capacity, I see you have recently launched ‘Energized SAGA’. Could you tell us more about this initiative and other initiatives currently conducted by MWE?
TPL: Energize is part of our LEAD pillar and aims to influence the future makers of Mozambique through a series of web presentations that can empower this generation to build their careers and take charge of their future in the LNG value chain. Our target audience is mostly young graduating and/or aspiring engineers who need more context regarding the industry to make better career choices.
NF: You are speaking at the Mozambique Gas Virtual Summit in October, what are you the most looking forward to at the event?
TPL: In this Mozambique Gas Virtual Summit, I would like to see more women participating in this event, including a greater representation in the various panels and a session especially allocated to women and organized by MWE. Excited to see more participation of students that are interested in the field and the different dynamics since now the Summit will be presented virtually.
NF: Thank you for your time, we are thrilled to have MWE as an official partner of the event and look forward to collaborating with your team. With regards to your final point, at the virtual event, each panel will be moderated by a woman, and women will feature prominently throughout. With regards to students, we are again, this year running the 5th University Essay Contest and Awards which will give a platform to the young future leaders of Mozambique.
We look forward to welcoming you, and the rest of the world, on 28 – 29 October 2020 at the Mozambique Gas Virtual Summit!
Nina Febo: You are the Founder of IMPACT, could you tell us a little more about the mission and any achievements you are particularly proud of thus far?
Anicha Abdul: We are a non-profit organization of diverse women entrepreneurs in Mozambique from both local and international markets. Our mission has been to leverage on the opportunities that exist in Mozambique, to grow women in businesses and create partnership with industries and extractive sectors by expanding networking and identify demand-driven capacity development to allow the access to new clients and markets. In a nutshell, we want to be included in major developments and contribute to the economic growth of Mozambique. The journey has not been easy, but since 2018, we have managed to create stronger relationships amongst women members, we have an online platform that is active on both Facebook and LinkedIn where a lot of discussions take place. A couple of the achievements I am particularly proud of are that in 2019 we had the very first Women in Oil & Gas Workshop in Mozambique that was sponsored by the Canadian Embassy, it was such a success. This event was right after the 6th Mozambique Oil & Gas Summit. It really gave businesses a good understanding about the industry, compliances, opportunities and understanding of the value chain. The other stand-out for me was earlier this year we partnered and participated in an event co-hosted by Chambers of Commerce France in Mozambique, talking about the local content and opportunities for women businesses. We had an opportunity to introduce the network and also hear from both INP and Total about opportunities and how we could all access it.
NF. You are also the Co-Founder and Managing Director of EP Management in Mozambique – if you could give one piece of advice to (young) women who are looking at launching their own business, what would it be?
AA. Always embrace challenges, view them as opportunities to learn. Plug into a support system, there is so much headaches you can save if you are willing to learn. Get a mentor and believe in yourself.
NF. You, in collaboration with Eliana Nzualo and Mody Maleiane, have just won the International Books for Peace Prize, from the Fundação Universitária Vida Cristã (FUNVIC) in Partnership with UNESCO, awarded to personalities who contribute to promoting peace, culture and harmony between peoples. Can you tell us more about this?
AA. To be honest, I am still surprised that I was part of the 3 winners of the prestigious international award. I am so humbled to be recognised as someone that is positively contributing to our society through my work. I have written a lot of articles, I enjoy sharing positivity and my entrepreneurial journey on social media, in the hope that I maybe helping someone out there. At the moment I am co-authoring a leadership book with some amazing international authors and hopefully the book will be out this year, and for more on that I have to keep you in suspense. There is so much more in the pipeline and I am excited to be sharing all this soon.
NF. IMPACT is very active in developing local capacity – could you tell us more about this initiative and other initiatives currently conducted by the organisation?
AA. Our goal as Impact is to ease the journey and create a more gender inclusive participation of women in business through online connections, offline collaborations, networking events, mentorships and capacity building. We have had several workshops conducted throughout the years on business-related topics and leadership. One of the workshop was the Women in Oil & Gas Workshop held last year. During the state of emergency we started streaming online talks called “Not Business As Usual Series” which was an initiative to help businesses navigate through this crisis by providing practical ways of ensuring the businesses survives. We have a mentorship program that we are finalizing with an international organization and we hope that will in turn bring so much value for the businesses that are selected to participate.
NF. You are speaking at the Mozambique Gas Virtual Summit in October, what are you the most looking forward to at the event?
Due to the fall in energy markets globally, all major oil companies had to cut CAPEX for 202O. In Mozambique we have a double edge sword scenario with the pandemic and the localised violence around the project surrounding areas. Not to mention ExxonMobil postponing FID.
From all of this, I am looking forward to understanding what 2021 will look like, what the progress is on Local Content law, job creations and opportunities for local SMEs.