A brief look at Africa’s industrial gas supply sector industry

A brief look at Africa’s industrial gas supply sector industry

Given the forecasted growth of Africa’s economy, where life expectancy is rapidly increasing and the general population of 1 billion is expected to double within the next 35 years*, the importance of sustainable infrastructure solutions to meet growing demand is critical to ensure efficient operations and long-term sustainability.

Historically, the industrial gases industry has been shaped by the major trends in global manufacture.

  • The first and founding trend was Oxygen demand in steel mills across the developed world during the first part of the twentieth century
  • The second trend that shaped the industry was the rapid growth of the electronics sector from 1970 onwards
  • A more recent megatrend was China’s industrialisation over the last 30 years

In an African context, the current area of rapid evolution is the transport of Liquefied Natural Gas in cryogenic vessels in a range of sizes from region to region, which has direct and immediate benefit for users of industrial gases in Africa. Historically constrained by unsuitable infrastructure most countries in Africa are now able to benefit from this new technology which makes it possible to move and store large volumes of Argon, Nitrogen, Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide cost effectively.

Producing gases in Africa is a challenge

The industrial gas industry has been driven by economies of scale, and, as a result, has designed bigger and bigger plants, which have proven unsuitable for most African markets.

These plants are generally too large for even mid-sized African economies like Ghana and Kenya.  In addition, a reliable and cost-effective electricity supply is required, in order to operate gas plants effectively, which too is a problem in many countries. Lastly, the massive initial commitment of capital required to set up the gas plant and the gas cylinder populations is challenging and often prohibitive.

Viable solutions

Importing Cryogenic gases has proven to be a viable alternative to the construction of capital intensive plants, as it facilitates quicker and cheaper entry into markets while establishing a customer base and more importantly, is less risky allowing businesses to utilise their cash reserves for other investments.

Kryo Afrika has extensive experience in this rapidly developing field and has assisted many clients in a range of African countries to optimise their business operations and increase productivity, cash flow and profit margins.

Kryo Afrika understands the challenges faced by users of industrial gases and has developed a number of unique solutions that have been applied in Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Namibia and DRC. We have also provided technical support in Angola, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Ghana, Chad, Mali and South Africa.

Kryo Afrika provides technical support, specialist gas equipment and a wide range of gases in various containers as well as guidance on manufacturing strategy. If you have a problem in obtaining industrial gases, Kryo Afrika probably has a solution. * https://www.weforum.org/agenda...