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Climate Considered As Oil & Gas Sector Expands 

By Ernest Ndukong

Oil and gas are a veritable profit making sector. Seven of the 10 biggest companies in the world deal in the lucrative industry with the likes of Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Sinopec and Total generating over FCFA 10,600 trillion as yearly revenue.

Perhaps, one of the only exceptions is South Sudan, the newest nation in the world with enormous oil reserves but arguably one of the poorest and least developed nations on earth.

That huge earnings are derived from the oil and gas sector is a truism, but the hazardous remittances need urgent intervention else, climate change would not require experts to explain it. With this in mind, Cameroon has opened the first landfill gas recovery plant which will catch methane coming from decaying waste at the Nkolfoulou waste disposal site in the outer reaches of Yaounde.

Carbon dioxide, which is less hazardous to climate change than methane, would be produced after burning the gas. The intercepted methane would subsequently be converted to cooking gas used in households and companies. This will reduce the 75 percent of Cameroon’s population still using fuel wood for cooking and let our trees standing.

The notion of capturing gas will enable Cameroon earn emissions reduction credits encompassed in the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism, CDM. The Director General of HYSACAM, Michel Ngapanou, said the methane capture plant was constructed at a cost of over FCFA 2 billion and a second one is under construction at the company’s waste disposal site in Douala.

The signatories, Essimi Menye and Michael Ngako Tomdio for Cameroon, and Robert P Jackson for the USA, on June 29, 2011, sealed the electricity and gas contracts between the two countries. The US government is expected to provide a non-refundable sum of FCFA 1.3 billion to finance feasibility studies of three projects.

Delphos International Ltd will spend FCFA 334 million on feasibility studies on the Limbe gas-to-electricity project. It entails replacing the 85- megawatt thermal plant that burns heavy fuel-oil to generate electricity with a 315-megawatt capacity plant that will convert gas from SONARA into electricity.

Worley Parsons Group Inc. will spend FCFA 307 million to study a project expected to transport dirt-free natural gas from SONARA to Douala and Yaounde in a workable pipeline system.
An identical FCFA 307 million by the same company will be used to carry out a study of the Gas to Markets System Project to capture offshore gas, transform and distribute it to major gas distribution centres.

Jackson, US Ambassador to Cameroon, stated the ability of these compatriot firms to carry out the studies and also noted that Cameroon stands to benefit enormously from the projects.
Diversification of energy to cleaner sources of natural gas and increased energy supply would not only enhance business and economic activities but living standards as well.

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