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Angola’s 30,000BPD Cabinda Refinery Passes Milestone Tests in Houston


The new Cabinda Oil Refinery in Angola successfully passed milestone tests in Houston at the VFuels facility in Houston yesterday.

The Factory Acceptance Testing (‘FAT’) helps verify that newly manufactured and packaged equipment meets its intended purpose before it is delivered to its intended destination, a significant step in the process of developing major refineries and similar plants.

The Cabinda Refinery will be 60,000 barrels a day (b/d) facility once fully operational. The full project is expected to represent an investment of $1Billion in three phases, with the first phase being $350Million. Phase 1 will feature a 30,000BPD crude distillation unit, desalinator, kerosine treating unit, pipelines, and a more than 1.2Million barrels of crude oil storage terminal. Phases 2 and 3 will add another 30,000BPD of crude processing capacity, as well as units for catalytic reforming, hydrotreating, and catalytic cracking that will transform the site into a full-conversion refinery. Once fully operable, the Cabinda refinery will produce gasoline, diesel, LPG, fuel oil, Jet A1, and kerosine.

Work on the Cabinda Refinery has created over 500 jobs in Houston while achieving the construction of a 30,000BPD modular crude distillation column – the largest throughput to date by VFuels, and the largest single-train modular crude distillation unit built to date globally. In Angola the project is expected to create 1300 jobs in total.

The project is being seen as a key step in the economic development of Angola because increasing domestic crude processing capacity helps reduce the country’s dependence on expensive imports of refined products, which also will have a positive environmental impact. It is also an important example of international development cooperation and of U.S. technological expertise in the space.

Angolan State Minister of Petroleum Diamantino Pedro Azevedo and Sonangol Chair & CEO Sebastião Gaspar Martins and other members of the board toured the VFuels facility as part of the proceedings.

Gemcorp Holdings Ltd and Sonangol are sponsors of the project and Odebrecht is the main EPC contractor.



Refinery equipment liquidation


Due to a refinery construction project that has been stopped, a lot of equipment and materials are available to be sold worldwide. The equipment belonged to an O&G Spanish multinational company and it is located in Andalusia, in the South of Spain, near Algeciras port to make loading and shipping easy.

The company in charge of the sale is Surus Inversa, a Spanish company working since 2008 with the most important energetic companies, looking for a second life for the assets these companies do not need anymore. The sale is being carried out through the company website, Escrapalia. Some of the assets can be bought by presenting direct offers and others are sold at online auction.

The price of these specific equipment is very interesting, around 15% of the purchase price, which makes this material an opportunity for other businesses in need of similar products. All the equipment is unused, properly stored and can be visited by contacting the company.

Some of the most relevant equipment are these big items, but more will be for sale very soon:

– Nuovo Pignone compressor (Baker Hughes): type 4HG/2-1 reciprocating compressor driven by electric motors, 4 cylinders, 3 stages. It consists of two compressor units operating in parallel. Designed to compress H2+CH4+HC+H2o+H2S. Make-up and recycle gas. Made in 2019.

– Dresser-Rand compressor (Siemens Energy): centrifugal and axial sour gas compressor, model DO6R7S. Designed to compress H2S+HC+H2 at more than 11.300 kg/h, it consists of a motor and a gear box. Made in 2019.

– Pumps: 6 Flowserve API 685 pumps (condensate, rich amine, flare drum, skim oil, potable water and water jockey) and 9 API 610 Klaus Union pumps (fresh solvent, lean solvent, quench water, rich solvent, sour water, degassed sulfur, fresh amine, amine regeneration and lean solvent).

– Metering pumps: 6 LEWA pumps

– Valves: 25 EMERSON Fisher™ valves (ES, EZ, ET, EWT).

– Piping: up to 1230 Tn of various thicknesses and sizes.

Burners: 11 Coolstar John Zink Hamworthy burners.

In case of interest in visiting the equipment or buying some or all of it, it is necessary to contact the chief of this sale, Jesús Santos, via email or on the phone 0034 699743943.

LINK to the website with more information about the equipment.

NDEP Wishes for Full Domestication of Hydrocarbon Consumption in Nigeria

The Nigerian independent, Niger Delta Exploration & Production (NDEP), has a large wish for the country’s hydrocarbon development.

That wish is to domesticate the consumption of the resources in the country.

Nigeria exports over 90% of its 1.3-1.5Million barrels per day crude oil output and 76% of its marketed 4.3Billion cubic feet per day natural gas production.

“We know that the window that we have for the upstream (oil producing) part is limited”, Gbite Falade, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, told Africa Oil+Gas Report. “We are all aware of the debilitating impact of just extracting fossil fuel alone and we recognize that, ultimately, when you just produce the raw hydrocarbon resources and hand it off to somebody to process it and then you buy it, there is a destruction of value”.

He speaks primarily for NDEP, of course. “Part of our long-term play remains the downstream. Today, we have started that long term play with the downstream refined product. There is even going to be further downstream play in the gas sector and this is about the finished product that you can readily access in the domestic market”.

Falade admits that even for a company like his, whose main asset is a marginal field (the Ogbele field, in the eastern Nigeria), pushing the domestication agenda means walking a tight rope.

NDEP runs one of the country’s two fully functional refineries, both of which, at most, utilize 16,000BOPD.

And whereas there’s a growing queue of large and small crude oil refineries under construction in the country, the enthusiasm for installing even mid-sized gas processing plants is low.  Here, NDEP is an exception. It is in the process of adding 300Million standard cubic feet per day (300MMscf/d) plant capacity to its base 100MMscf/d facility. In Nigeria, where gas sales agreements of 50MMscf/d routinely call for effusive, national media attention, the construction of a 300MMscf/d gas processing plant is big deal.

“The upstream is our starting point. The upstream holds the attraction of value generation and revenue generation that helps to jumpstart the other sectors”, Falade explains. “We are in a phase now where the upstream is the sector that is carrying the midstream and the downstream. What we are doing is evolving our own transition and pivoting to where, without holding down the contribution from the upstream oil, we are doubling down on our gas train sector to where we transition from oil carrying gas but gas carrying oil. We see the longer-term impact and sustainability of gas because it is less intense in terms of carbon footprint but more importantly, when you are looking for ways of jumpstarting the domestic economy, gas has that attraction much more than oil. We see the longer-term relevance of gas and all we are doing now is harnessing the value that we are creating from the upstream to really expand our gas business”.

Crude oil prices have soared well above the $100 a barrel so Nigerian upstream production companies -those who produce optimally without challenges of evacuation-are doing well.

Falade says that a key reason why investors have been very shy of taking decision in downstream refining “is the fact that it is a regulated play and without a clarity around government decision and commitment to release the rein of control especially on pricing, anybody making investment in the downstream was taking a gamble. But government will have to take its leg off the control pad because the hole that is being burnt in our pocket as a nation as a consequence of subsidy, is totally not sustainable. Besides, anybody that has been long about in this industry will recognize the cyclical nature of crude pricing and what your refinery offers you as an upstream producer is a natural hedge against that boom & bust pattern of oil price. Yes, your margins may be well contained when prices are great and if you are typical upstream man, you wouldn’t want to go near the refinery.

“But when you get to those low moments when you are speaking about $30-$40 per barrel, then your refinery helps you to get more value that you otherwise would not have gotten if you stayed strictly as an upstream player. So it is diversification strategy if pursued with care. If handled responsibly, it can be profitable. There will be moments and instances where it is not but for a company like ours, we don’t play on the short term; we take a long term view”.

In spite of the allure of uncomplicated profit taking that full export of crude oil brings, at over a $100 per barrel, Falade remarks: “Our dream is one of full integration where we are able to deploy world class methods for extraction, but we are going to hand it off to a point where we domesticate the consumption of hydrocarbon reserves as much as possible in this country. That is really where the downstream refinery comes in. So, we will continue to maximize the limited window that we have in the upstream to continue to expand ourselves”.

NNPC Mulls a 50,000BPSD Refinery on Kolmani River

By Macson Obojemuinmoin

The NNPC Ltd, Nigeria’s state hydrocarbon company, has proposed a condensate refinery as part of the ‘development’ of the Kolmani River field in the north of the country.

In the said proposal, NNPC clearly notes that it…

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Sasol Responds to Fatalities, Operational Challenges, at Secunda Site

Sasol, the South African petrochemicals giant, says it has embarked on a business-wide assessment of its safe working practices, in response to recent tragic safety incidents in its mining business.

Three people died in an underground water reservoir incident at the company’s Bosjesspruit mine. There was a high wall failure at the Syferfontein mine as well as a fire at the Shondoni mine (no fatalities), all between November 1 and December 7, 2021.

The incidents severely impacted Sasol’s Synfuels Operations in Secunda, a coal-mining town located 130 kilometres east of Johannesburg.

They also resulted in more than 1Million tons of lost coal production and contributed to over 50% of Sasol’s coal production shortfall.

Sasol’s Secunda Operations (SO) operates the world’s only commercial coal-based synthetic fuels manufacturing facility, producing synthesis gas (syngas) through coal gasification and natural gas reforming.

Although “our efforts to improve Secunda Operations’ stability have yielded some positive results, our Mining business improvement efforts have not met our own targets. It is disappointing for all of us who
have been working tirelessly at repositioning the company for a sustainable future, as well as
pursuing the improvement benefits of Sasol 2.0”, the company says in an update.

“Due to the lower-than-expected coal availability and coal quality, we have reduced SO production
rates until such time that our mining productivity rates increase and we have rebuilt our coal
stockpile to well above our threshold requirements. We are committed to gradually lifting production
rates as coal availability improves, while carefully monitoring the supply and demand balance.
We will also supplement our production shortfall by purchasing coal on the open market. It is not
possible to determine the shortfall at this point.

As a consequence, Sasol says it has revised its forecast SO production volumes to 6,7 – 6,8Million tons
for the financial year 2022. “Based on actual performance and our coal purchase strategy, we expect
Mining operations to achieve an average productivity rate of between 950 to 1 040 t/cm/s for
the financial year 2022”, the company explains.

“Our first objective is to ensure that we restore the integrity of the stockpile to a level of above ~1,2
Million tons by the end of quarter 1 of the calendar year 2022. Following this, we plan to gradually
increase the pure gas loads through increased coal supply to SO in an effort to improve the run-
rate. We are targeting a stockpile level of ~1,5Million tons and will further improve the gas loads
for SO by quarter 2 of the calendar year 2022. Improving the coal quality will take some time and we
will update the market of our progress during the following months”.

“As of 13 December 2021, the operational instabilities at SO have been largely resolved. We have
seen significant improvements with gasifier and boiler availability in the Synfuels facility over the
past three months”.

Ibigwe: An Industrial Park Grows on the Back of a Marginal Field

When the Nigerian independent Waltersmith Petroman, concludes a well it is currently drilling on the Ibigwe field in the east of the country, it will deliver the entire daily production from the new probe into its refinery in the vicinity of the field.

The company runs a 5,000Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD) modular refinery.

It is the only company, which processes its entire upstream output in a local facility, which is itself the first phase of a much bigger complex.

The Waltersmith Refinery complex started life in a grand style with a commissioning witnessed by over 300 oil and gas executives, most of them airlifted from Lagos and Abuja for the event, and a speaker line-up that included President Muhammadu Buhari, who directly addressed the gathering virtually from the State House, witnessed the commissioning.

Sitting in that glittering gathering, almost a year ago, cramped for space in a vast canopy, you could be forgiven for assuming that the country was launching the grand project itself: the 650,000BOPD Dangote Refinery, under construction for the past six years.

But this modest hydrocarbon processing project is part of an ambitious journey that began as a marginal oil field, estimated at no more than 20Million Barrels of crude in recoverable reserves.

The destination is an Industrial and Innovation Park, with a 50,000BOPD refinery complex and a 3,000MW gas-fired power plant as the centrepieces of a hub that will provide energy to 118, 000 households and 27, 000 commercial and industrial users.

The park is designed to be spread over 100 hectares of land initially, of which 65 hectares of land has been acquired. The Power Plant will supply power to nearby industries or industries which come to locate themselves in the hub. Waltersmith was awarded electricity generation license by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in 2017.

The 5,000BOPD plant, with planned optimum output of about 271Million litres of refined petroleum products (Diesel, Kerosene, Heavy Fuel Oil-HFO and Naphtha) per annum, is thus the first of a three phase complex comprising a 20,000Barrel per day condensate refinery and a 25,000 crude oil refinery, planned for completion by 2022.

To fund this starter project, Waltersmith Petroman formed a Joint venture (JV) with the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, a Government parastatal which holds 30% to its 70%. The JV, named Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company, got funding support from the African Finance Corporation (AFC), a pan-African Multilateral Development Financial Institution.

Even if the project is halted at this first phase, it is already an exception in the country.

As a rule, private Nigerian owned E&P companies do not aspire to be integrated entities.

Waltersmith is only the second company, out of over 20 Nigerian independent crude oil producers, to get into the business of running a refinery. It is instructive that the first: Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, also built its refinery on the back of a marginal oil field.

Established in 1996, Waltersmith Petroman acquired the Ibigwe Marginal Field (OML-16) license in 2004 and delivered first oil in 2008. It grew production to over 7,000BOPD, built a 15,000 BOPD Flowstation at Ibigwe to process crude from the Ibigwe Field and the neighbouring NNPC/ SEPLAT JV Ohaji South Field in OML-53. Anticipating additional growth in production from the vicinity, Waltersmith is expanding this facility to handle 20,000BOPD by the end of 2020.

Two intractable challenges that confront small producers like Waltersmith in delivering crude oil to the market are the incessant vandalism of export pipelines and high charges paid to both pipeline and terminal facility owners. At one point for Waltersmith was losing between 25% and 30% of the output before the crude got to the terminal. Then again, the company was paying as much as $8 per barrel on pipeline and terminalling charges.

The idea for the refinery came primarily from thinking to mitigate production losses. But gradually, what started as a route out of economic challenges started taking the shape of a higher calling.

“WE HAD BEEN PRODUCING OIL NOW FOR OVER A DECADE and of course, we had our own unique locational challenges but I then asked the question, is this it for our nation?”, wondered Abdulrazaq Isa, Waltersmith’s Chairman and co-founder. “Producing and exporting oil? Is this it for us, is there a way we can do something better?”

The company decided it was going to start small and build a modest modular refinery,“but side by side, we started asking the question, what can we do with the gas that we are producing, from which we had been generating about 1.2MW of electricity for ourselves on our site? I started asking why can’t I provide electricity for some other people?”

Razaq said that, as the refinery project started taking shape, “the next wave of thinking in our company was how to create an industrial infrastructure where we then begin to provide other services to other people. We can acquire a significant amount of land within our area: we are building a refinery, we are providing electricity for ourselves, we are providing water for ourselves, we are providing security for ourselves so why can’t we scale that up and do that with other people? Why don’t we create the same enabling environment within our area for those of us who are operating within that area and provide these same services to them?

That way, we can create jobs for people, people can co-locate factories and industries where we are and that way, we can impact the economy directly and begin to create an industrial base for the production of other things. That was the kind of thing that we are beginning to think about but that is in addition to expanding our refining capacity and our upstream business will of course continue to grow because we will continue to look for assets. We see our upstream business as an enabler for doing things. We in this business, must look at other sectors of the economy and continue to intervene in them because we earn significant resources from the E&P segment of our business”.

By 2018, Final Investment Decision (FID) had been taken and in October 2018 the groundbreaking ceremony was done, effectively kicking off the construction phase in November 2018.


The 5,000BOPD refinery utilises own operated crude as feedstock, but negotiations are ongoing with both SEPLAT and NNPC on Crude Sales and Purchase agreements for the over 7,000BOPD NNPC/SEPLAT OML-53 JVO haji South production processed at Waltersmith’s Ibigwe Flow station. There is also ongoing conversations, for some commercial arrangement with other parties who either hold positions in, or operate, fields sited within 30-km of the Ibigwe Marginal Field.

Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for the 25,000 Barrels Per Day (BPD) Phase 2 Condensate Refinery was completed in Q1 2020, with feasibility study concluded in Q2 2020 and the EPCIC Contracting process has been initiated with Final Investment Decision planned for Q4 2020 and the delivery expected by Q4 2022.

Phase 2 will output about 1.4Billion litres per year of refined petroleum products (Premium Motor Spirit – PMS, Diesel, Kerosene, Aviation Jet Fuel and HFO) when completed, in addition to the 271Million litres from the Phase 1. “The combined products expected at full capacity, from the three phases, is about 2.7BIllion litres of products per annum. “This represents 10% of the total refined products consumption in Nigeria”, Isa said. The groundbreaking ceremony for 2nd and 3rd  Phases of the refinery complex was done in conjunction with the commissioning of the 5,000BOPD Phase 1 Refinery last November.

THE LINEUP OF SPEAKERS AT THE commissioning ceremony comprised, largely the CEOs of the companies expected to provide condensate and crude oil feedstocks for the next two phases.

One of the first speakers was Roger Brown, CEO of Seplat, operator of OML 53, the condensate rich asset on which the 300MMscf/d ANOH gas project, promoted also by Seplat, was being constructed. “This plant means that crude oil from this area will be refined in this area and sold to people from this area”, Brown gushed. “And this is what the future is got to be. It’s got be utilized within our areas and states. I’m delighted to say the crude stock from our OML 53 production will be refined here and sold in Imo State”.

Waltersmith also has eyes on crude oil from Egbema field (operated by NPDC, an NNPC subsidiary) and Egbema West (held by Shell Petroleum in JV with NNPC). The assets, “located in nearby OML 20, are excellent sources of crude oil feedstock for our refinery”, Isa told the gathering.

Chike Nwosu, CEO, Waltersmith

This is what Osa Okunbor, Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, referenced when he spoke. “This project sits very, very close to several of our land assets and there’s a lot of room for collaboration to ensure that the required feedstock is obtained”, Okunbor said.

“I want to reaffirm this commitment working with our partners in the SPDC JV in particular, the GMD of NNPC to see how we can fulfill this commitment we made to support this project with the required feedstock.”

One sticky point in Waltersmith’s negotiations for feedstock from these nearby fields, sited within 30-km of the Ibigwe Marginal Field, is NNPC’s own development plans.

The state owned firm’s decision to site a condensate refinery, right in the Assa North- Ohaji South (ANOH) field area, had been as ore headache in the planning for Waltersmith’s 2nd Phase Condensate Refinery.

Waltersmith had been in discussion with Seplat Petroleum, to have the latter inject the condensate from its ANOH field gas project to the refinery. But NNPC too, as Seplat’s partner on the asset, is angling for a condensate refinery in the vicinity. NNPC wants to construct four condensate refineries of 30,000BPD capacity each, and site one of them in the ANOH area. Its primary feedstock is the same gas condensate from ANOH that Waltersmith is seeking to take from Seplat.

Waltersmith has been negotiating with NNPC to either merge its plans into the Ibigwe Phase 2 Refinery, or for the two of them to find some other middle ground. This is why Waltersmith’s press releases and its several public statements in the past year have repeatedly contained the line: “Critical to the success of these projects is the Federal Government’s support, through NNPC, to conclude on advanced discussions to grant Waltersmith access to nearby Condensate feedstock in Assa North / Ohaji”.

Of critical importance, then, was the speech of Mele Kolo Kyari, the NNPC’s Group Managing Director, at the commissioning.

“We have engaged Waltersmith severally and we have assured them that between us and our partners, we will make feedstock available to this refinery” Kyari declared. “ NNPC will continue to collaborate with other investors to establish more refineries”.


As putative feedstock providers were providing verbal guarantees of crude condensate and gas supply for the refinery, the basic blocks of the larger industrial park were also being assembled.

Isa, the Chairman of WalterSmith Group, announced the “ground breaking of the development of our Industrial and Innovation Park with the flagging of the Technical Support Agreement with United Nations Industrial Development

Organisation (UNIDO) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)”.

Chike Nwosu, Waltersmith’s Chief Executive Officer, said that once the company “can provide the basic needs of manufacturers which is around energy, we expect them to be attracted to these areas and we expect that to begin to create commercial hub around the Ibigwe area where the inherent entrepreneurship of the people of that area will be given the juices for them to grow and so, you will see small and medium enterprises growing along with the larger industrial manufacturers”.

Nwosu has heard so much talk about companies’ ability to pay for the industrial park services, especially provision of power.

He has a response: “Waltersmith has a paradigm shift”, he explained. “The ability to pay conversion is about delivering power, you don’t deliver power because the end users don’t have the ability to pay. Why don’t you create that ability to pay through a couple of steps? The first step is creating the environment for customers who can pay which is the industrial complex.

“There is need to create an industrial complex where manufacturing companies who can pay for the energy because it is cheaper for them and who you can provide with access to ports.

For instance, Port Harcourt is near us, Onitsha is near us including the Port Harcourt airport and other airports within our jurisdiction.

There are exit routes to export anything that you want to do. This should be created for the manufacturers, bring them because they have the ability to pay”.

OPAC Refinery: “We Thought We Were the First in Nigeria”

By Foluso Ogunsan and Akpelu Paul Kelechi, in Lagos

The OPAC (Modular) Refinery, located in Kwale, in the Niger Delta basin, has taken so long (Four years) from conception to completion, largely because of the bureaucracy of constructing a hydrocarbon processing facility in Nigeria, in the opinion of Momoh Jimah Oyarekhua, the refinery’s CEO.

“We had various issues, because we were more or less like pioneers, we had to fight for waiver and that meant going through processing, going through the Ministry of Petroleum, going through the Ministry of Finance, going through Customs. At some point it was now gazetted by the Presidency,” Oyarekhua discloses. “While we were waiting for waiver, which took us eight months, we had some of our equipments stolen at the port. Our intention was to complete the refinery by the end of 2018, or maybe if it spills over, in 2019. But we had some of our equipment missing, some of that equipment had to be reproduced, which opened us to cost because we were at the forefront”.  

Oyarekhua’s use of words like “pioneer” and “forefront” would suggest that the OPAC Modular refinery is the first in the country. In truth, as the 10,000BOPD OPAC refinery undergoes commissioning stages, there are already, on ground, two such facilities fully functional: the Niger Delta E&P (NDEP) owned, three- train 11,000BOPD Ogbele Refinery in Ogbele, in Rivers State and the Waltesmith Petroman owned 5,000BOPD Ibigwe refinery in Imo state, on the eastern flank of the Niger Delta basin. 

But this is how Mr. Oyarekhua frames his narrative of OPAC being a pioneer:

“When we were conceiving the idea of this refinery, (in 2017), I truly would say that I did not know any other refinery existed in Nigeria. When we asked around we were only aware there was a one thousand barrel a day topping plant owned by NDPR stripping out the gasoil in their crude. When in 2017 were thinking of actually building a Modular Refinery. Before then, there were licenses and all that. It began to dawn on us that there was a space that we could play”.

Records at the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the country’s regulatory agency, indicate that the ‘authority to construct’ (ATC) a refinery was only granted to Waltersmith Petroman in March 2017, whereas OPAC refinery received its own ATC, six months after, in September 2017. It’s also true that, as of that time, NDEP was only running its first train, a 1,000BOPD (crude oil to diesel) topping plant-a valid refinery itself no doubt- but had not been granted licence to increase the complexity of the unit to the 11,000BOPD refinery it is running today. DPR records show that ATC for NDEP’s second train 5,000BOPD refinery and third train 5,000BOPD refinery, were both granted in December 2018. 

From DPR’s records, then, Oyarekhua’s claim of being a pioneer, despite “meeting” two refineries on ground, is not necessarily wrong. 

But OPAC had other challenges that ensured the facility’s delay in delivery.

“This project is financed by equity, there isn’t debt. When there are variations, we go back to the drawing table trying to raise money. It’s different from the WalterSmith one that government through NCDMB gave money and all of that. Our models are different, we could be struggling at some point, but they already had everything well worked out”. 

The full interview with Momoh Jimah Oyarekhua, CEO of OPAC Refinery, can be read in this link.

Local Refining Can Consume $Billions of Scarce Nigerian Forex

Funding is the Challenge for Ugandan Government’s Stake in Refinery

With the conclusion of agreements to launch the upstream and midstream segments of the Lake Albert development project, discussions are shaping up around financing close for the 60,000BOPD. 

The government holds a 40% participating interest in the refinery. The Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) is taking up the biggest shareholding in the project through one of its subsidiaries, the Uganda Refinery Holding Company (URHC), on behalf of the state. “We have a role together with the refinery consortium in ensuring that the refinery makes a final investment decision in 2022, in accordance with the timelines of the Project Framework Agreement”, says Proscovia Nabbanja, CEO of UNOC.

The Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium, which holds 60% of the project, consists of General Electric (GE), Yaatra Ventures LLC, Intracontinent Asset Holdings and Saipem SPA.

The refinery is expected to come on stream between 2024-2025. “There’s a lot of work being done today, such as the environmental and social impact assessment and the front-end engineering design”, Ms. Nabbaja explains. “We are also working with the Ministry of Finance to secure financing for our equity in the refinery”, she notes. 

But the Ugandan government is stretched thin. In the last five years, it has expended close to $2Billion on infrastructure, to equip the country to handle the oilfield project, which will see over 10 fields in the Hoima district producing 230,000BOPD at peak.

“Without financing you can only do so much”, Nabbanja says.“If you are going to play as a contracting party or partner within the agreements, then you must have the financing”.

She says that Financing is not only for UNOC’s equity participation; “to deliver on your strategy, you must have a good target operating model and you must have resources for it. Internally, we have defined the financing needs for UNOCoperations to make ourselves field-ready and capacitated for that time when we actually get into execution mode for the projects”.

Angola Gives the Nod to Quanten to Build the Soyo Refinery

The Angolan Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum (MIREMPET) has selected the Quanten Consortium to build, own and operate (BOO) the 100,000BOPD refinery in Soyo, in Zaire Province, the north easternmost province of the country.

The American led group’s proposal beat seven others from groups that included Atis Nebest-Angola, SDRC, Jiangsu Sinochem Construction Co., Tobaka Investment Group, Satarem, Gemcorp Capital,  China Petroleum Pipeline (CPP) Engineering Firm, and the consortium formed  by CME, Aida and VSF.

Africa’s second largest crude oil producer launched the $3.5Billion tender for the work in October 2019. 31 companies expressed interest in delivering the facility. The refinery is scheduled to begin production in 2024. Soyo is one of three refinery projects, with combined capacity of 350,000BOPD, that the Angolan government wants to see executed by 2025.

Construction work is also ongoing at two other sites (1) the 60,000BOPD refinery in Cabinda, also brand new and (2) the Luanda Refinery, an existing crude distillation facility which is undergoing an upgrade that will increase the current output of gasoline from 72,000 tons to 450,000 tons per year.




Angola to Announce EPC Contractor for Soyo Refinery Next Week

The Angolan Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum (MIREMPET) will, on March 15, 2021, announce the winner of the tender to build the 100,000BOPD refinery in Soyo, in Zaire Province the north easternmost part of the country.

At the start of final evaluation, there were nine proposals from groups that included Atis Nebest-Angola, SDRC, Jiangsu Sinochem Construction Co., Tobaka Investment Group, Satarem, Gemcorp Capital,  China Petroleum Pipeline (CPP) Engineering Firm, Quanten Consortium, as well as a joint proposal submitted by CME, Aida and VSF.


One of them has since dropped out, which means that eight companies and consortia had their proposals evaluated by PwC, the government’s due diligence consultant, as of December 29, 2020.

But MIREMPET postponed the announcement, for the second time in January 2021, in order that the best ranked competitors could renew their investment financing guarantees, “through renowned financial institutions, as well as re-affirmation of the corporate structures involved”, the ministry says in a statement.

The Soyo refinery is one of three refinery projects under development by the Angolan government. One is to expand the capacity of the Luanda refinery, another is the two-phase construction of a new 60,000BOPD refinery at Cabinda, which is underway.



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