In this exclusive interview, Guillaume Niarfeix, MD, SPIE Services Nigeria Limited speaks on the company’s strategy in unlocking Nigeria’s potential in a green energy future.
Gaps the Nigerian energy industry suffers from
Considering the growing importance of energy transition and climate change all over the world, the industry and especially SPIE need to get engaged in the topics of the energy transition.
At SPIE, we strongly believe that it’s not about completely rejecting a business model that isn’t low-carbon economy. Indeed, we believe in the need to have a better energy mix including renewable energy such as Solar and Wind.
Personally, I reckon it’s our responsibility to get involved. We are very much involved in this not only in Nigeria but all over the world. We provide solutions for windmill and solar systems.
We support our clients and partners into this transition. It is also my strong belief that Nigeria is extremely lucky in the energy transition. This is because today, we have an economy based on oil and gas that is allowing heavy investment into the renewable energy.
So, in essence we can use the money from Hydrocarbon to feed the need of investment towards more green energy and more sustainable systems.
How are you positioning for the energy transition?
SPIE is not only an oil and gas company. We are very much involved in the energy transition in smart cities and in supporting waste technology to a more sustainable world.
I think it’s a big chance today that we have the oil and gas industry that can provide the necessary financing for a faster transition to a sustainable energy future.
One cannot subsist without the other.
Today, we propose and provide solutions to our clients to reduce their carbon emissions. This includes our oil and gas clients; we provide them with options to produce in more sustainable ways.
Thus, we directly contribute in the decrease of their Hydrocarbon footprint. We are making a big difference.
It’s not a question of whether we want to go that way. The transition has already started, and we are a very big actor in this transition.
First of all, we did more than survive. We actually thrived and provided assistance around us.
We were lucky to see from the beginning that the crisis would be as big as it is, and we took very strong decisions to protect our staff and reduce our cost as much as possible. We kept almost everyone on the payroll. We believe the main asset for us is our people.
We were also lucky enough to have booked clients on a long-term contract which gave us some sort of certainty and long-term view within the crisis.
We organized ourselves to be more competitive when the crisis would be alleviated. I think our clients and partners have seen that during the crisis, we were solid, and we were there with them.
Moreover, we supported the communities where we worked.
So, today they have become strong partners and we are in a better situation than we were before the crisis and are ready to win more contracts and take part in the post-crisis rebuilding.
Exploring Local Content
The 2010 Act is a key driving force in developing the nation’s indigenous manpower and resources. We, SPIE, have always embraced this vision. Today, SPIE’s workforce is composed of over 90 per cent indigenous Nigerian women and men and we are always going a step forward than is requested.
However, in all transparency, I don’t think it’s solely because of the Act. One of our values is to be present locally and we believe that with increased proximity, the more effective and efficient we will be to our clients.
I think it’s one of the reasons we did so well during the crisis. We were less affected for example by the inability of people to travel in and out of the country since most of our staff are local. I believe Local Content is better for everyone not only Nigeria but also for us.
Vision for Nigeria’s energy sector
It’s a very important part of the Nigerian ecosystem because most of it is based around it especially the oil and gas.
We all know that Nigeria has more gas than oil so there will be a lot of work in that area.
You mentioned the energy transition and we are here to take our part in it. We are already helping our clients to foresee a great future together and increase their energy mix. We want to be part of the future of the continent and Nigeria. We want to help bridge the energy gap that still exists.