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ENERGY: Petro.T.Ex Africa Seen As a Vital Africa Conduit


Recent Gauteng Business News

The South African Petroleum Retailers Association (SAPRA) has endorsed Petro.t.ex Africa to support the launch of Forecourt Africa, a component show of the Petro.t.ex Africa exhibition. Petro.t.ex Africa takes place from 7 to 9 June 2011 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.

“SAPRA welcomes the inclusion of Forecourt Africa as an integral part of the Petro.t.ex Africa exhibition,” says Peter Noke, National Director of SAPRA, which represents and promotes the interests of fuel retailers in South Africa.

This year’s Petro.t.ex Africa will highlight new developments and trends, technological innovations and major projects planned for the petroleum industry in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“There is massive growth in the forecourt sector,” says Noke, “And the Petro.t.ex Africa exhibition is perfectly timed to give our member fuel retailers the opportunity to evaluate new equipment and the latest technology on offer from top local and international suppliers.”

Petro.t.ex Africa 2011 will also feature an industry focused two-day conference which will explore many of the challenges and opportunities facing the petroleum industry today.

The vital aspects of Energy Security and Security of Supply will be discussed by key experts in the industry. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts increasing strain on world oil markets in the next two years, particularly due to events in North Africa and the Middle East, the world's largest oil producing region. The current situation in Libya is a case in point, with reports indicating that the country’s 1.8-million bbl/d total liquids production has been shut down indefinitely. These factors and their effects on South Africa and the rest of Africa will be addressed under the conference’s topic, The Global Energy Outlook.

“Estimated total world oil consumption will grow by an annual average of 1.6-million barrels per day through 2012,” says Mark Burridge from Fair Consultants, organisers of Petro.t.ex Africa. “New rigs are being deployed, new fields developed, old fields re-visited with new technology, and the renewable energy industry is growing,” adds Burridge. This opens up opportunities for partnerships with foreign companies in project development, technology, products, expertise and skills transfer.

Another conference topic, Clean Fuels and Specifications, is a major factor in the South African petroleum industry. Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters says the local industry is investing R30-billion in new refining technology for the production of cleaner petrol and low sulphur diesel. This will benefit motor manufacturers introducing latest technology ‘green’ vehicles to the region. Other topics include the Consumer Protection Act and its impact on the retail fuel sector and the impact of Carbon Taxation on the sector.

Other influential organisations supporting Petro.t.ex Africa include the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA), the Minerals and Energy Education and Training Institute (MEETI), the Corrosion Institute of South Africa (CorriSA), and the South African Supplier Development Agency (SASDA).

Coinciding with the introduction of Forecourt Africa, two exhibitors, ProScan Systems and UCS Technology Services, will showcase new products.

ProScan Systems offers a new electronic POD (EPOD) handheld system that automates load and delivery processes, IT solutions for retail, manufacturing and distribution applications, AutoID technology and mobile computing.

UCS Technology Services will launch a new wireless communication system at Petro.t.ex Africa. “The Wi-Bri Wireless Bridge system connects fuel pumps without digging up forecourts, saving time and money,” says Saul Gorin head of Fuel Retailing Solutions at UCS Technology Services.

Other exhibitors include Joint Venture Pump Services and Southern Africa Master Distributors showcasing fuel pumps and dispensers, fuel insurance specialists Garagesure, Sapphire Logistics who supply forecourt uniforms and equipment, Smartfuel Pump, IT and data management specialists, and Turbofluid who handle installation, repair, maintenance and technical back-up for all types of pumps and steam turbines.

Avhapfani Tshifularo, Executive Director of SAPIA, says that Petro.t.ex Africa is an excellent platform to stimulate business in the industry. “With so much growth in the downstream sector, we believe that our members’ involvement with the event as exhibitors or visitors will be extremely beneficial to their business interests.”

Exhibitors and visitors can use the free internet-based business matchmaking programme to arrange pre-profiled, pre-selected and pre-scheduled matchmaking meetings for all three days of the show.

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