Africa’s ever-growing energy needs face logistics challenges ranging from lack of infrastructure, security concerns to lack of resources, speakers agreed during as session at Breakbulk Africa Wednesday.
Africa’s economy will stagnate without adequate power. This will discourage new investment and current investors will become apprehensive. Power is the key driver of growth and change on the continent. On the other hand, Africa’s energy requirements spell opportunities for power producers and their logistics companies, particularly in the sphere of alternative energy.
Initial investment in wind farms on various parts of the continent is high, said Sanette Venter, head of indirect material cluster Africa, Siemens RSA. However, the windmills require specialized equipment, including cranes that aren’t sufficiently available for installation and maintenance of wind turbines. Accessibility remains an issue; there is a need for roads and infrastructure that can handle large cargo.
The need to deliver on demand translates into opportunities for logistics partners who are to get equipment to site on time. Clients can land projects but cannot deliver without a reliable logistics partner. Venter advised that each energy delivery project be assessed by country, to determine logistics capabilities. There also is a need for continuous communication between all stakeholders – especially the logistics partner and client – to manage expectations, she said.