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Issue 318 - 25 February 2016

Angola: Lomaum dam returns to service

Subscriber

The 50MW Lomaum dam on the Catumbela River was returned to service on 3 February after rehabilitation work. State news agency Angop said the dam at Cubal, in Benguela province, had been out of action for 31 years. It will enable Empresa Nacional de Distribuição de Electricidade (Ende) to improve supply to 92,000 consumers in the cities of Benguela, Lobito, Catumbela and Baía Farta. The dam started production tests in June 2015 and is now restored to full production. The plant was badly damaged in 1984, during the civil war.

Angola
Issue 318 - 25 February 2016

Angola: Cobalt winds down

Subscriber

Cobalt International has started winding down its Angolan operations as it proceeds with the sale of its assets to Sonangol. The company said it expected to reduce its global workforce by 50% as it concentrates on its US operations.In August 2015, Cobalt and Sonangol announced an agreement for the sale of Cobalt’s 40% working interest in Angola blocks 20 and 21 for $1.75bn before transaction costs and taxes. Cobalt received the initial payment of $250m in 2015 and expects to close the transaction upon receipt of Angola government approvals.

Angola
Subscriber

Egypt’s Elsewedy Electric has announced the signing of an engineering, procurement and construction contract for three power generation plants in Angola with a total value of $484.5m. Elsewedy said the contract formed part of Angola’s 2016 Emergency Power Plan to increase generation capacity. The plants will be installed in Luanda’s Camama and Cazenga districts and Lunda Sul province, using GE gas turbines. The contract value includes engineering, procurement and construction plus finance, and the work will be carried out during 2016.

Angola
Subscriber

Some 28 years after its destruction by Cuban Mig fighter planes during the 1975-1991 civil war, the 14MW Calueque hydro plant on the Kunene River will be operational again by year-end. The dam was bombed in 1988 when it was in the hands of the South African Defence Force. A consortium of Mota Engil Africa and Lyon announced in late January that the facility would be rehabilitated this year.

Angola
Subscriber

A 26MW biomass power plant is under construction for Companhia Siderúrgica do Cuchi (CSC), owned by Brazilian steelmaker Modulax, to provide energy for its Cutato iron ore mine and pig iron plant. CSC chief executive Geraldo Basques told Cuango Cubango provincial governor Pedro Mutinde that, during its first phase, the project would use 6MW for its own operations and supply the remaining 20MW to the Cuchi area and to the provincial capital Menongue as soon as transmission lines are available.

Angola
Issue 315 - 14 January 2016

Angola: Eni starts up Mpungi field

Subscriber

Eni has started production from the Mpungi field in the West Hub Development Project on Block 15/06. The start-up of the Mpungi field, which follows the West Hub development’s first oil from the Sangos field in November 2014 and Cinguvu in early April 2015, will bring production to some 100,000 b/d of oil in Q1 2016.The West Hub Development Project comprises the Sangos, Cinguvu, Mpungi, Mpungi North, Ochigufu and Vandumbu fields in water depths ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 metres.

Angola
Subscriber

Sonangol chairman Francisco de Lemos José Maria and Total president Patrick Pouyanné on 21 December signed what Sonangol termed “an agreement of intent… to explore Angola’s ultra-deepwater West concessions”. Total declined to give further details, but Sonangol has delineated a large ultra-deep area outboard from the existing northern blocks. Sonangol said the agreement was “of great importance in the context of promoting increased investment in Angola’s oil sector”.

Angola
Issue 315 - 14 January 2016

Angola: Fuel prices rise

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An explosion at Naftal’s butane gas bottling plant in the Skikda industrial zone on 5 January hospitalised 17 people with burns, one of whom is understood to have died from his injuries. The incident appears to be a consequence of inadequate safety measures in the operation of the plant – said to be a widespread problem at Sonatrach’s downstream facilities. In a statement released through Algérie Presse Service, the official state-owned newswire, Naftal said that “the incident has no consequences for the effective supply of the wilaya and the eastern region, which is carrying on as normal”.

Angola
Issue 315 - 14 January 2016

Angola: Steel recycling plant opens

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After a period of doubt over its future following problems in conflict-hit markets, including Libya, and difficulties repaying debt, London Stock Exchange-listed APR Energy’s shareholders have accepted an investor consortium’s offer to acquire the emergency power provider. The group of Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings and US firms Acon Equity Management and Albright Capital Management plan to take Florida-based APR private; the buyers have committed $200m-plus equity to reduce debt and increase working capital.

Angola
Subscriber

Sonangol has awarded eight onshore blocks in a licensing round launched last year, with all the licences going to local companies. None of the international companies that prequalified for the round have been successful, with the licensing process apparently aimed at boosting the number of indigenous companies. Some of the successful bidders are expected to seek technical co-operation agreements with experienced companies, as in Nigeria, although several licences have Sonangol P&P as a partner.

Angola
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APR Energy has announced that it has signed a six-month extension to its contract to supply 40MW power from its Rocha Pinto plant near Luanda. The contract, first signed in 2013, was the London-listed company’s first mobile gas turbine project in sub-Saharan Africa. APR Energy also operates a 40MW plant at Morro Bento. “As part of the extension, the customer has reaffirmed its commitment to fulfil all past, present and future financial obligations,” the company said.

Angola
Subscriber

Eni has given Technip subsidiaries Technip Umbilicals and Angoflex a contract to supply umbilicals to the Block 15/06 East Hub Development. The field is located 350km north of Luanda, at water depths of 450-600 metres. The contract covers project management and manufacture of about 15km of dynamic and static steel tube umbilicals. Technip Umbilicals’ facility in Lobito with support from Technip Umbilicals in Newcastle UK, will manufacture the umbilicals that are scheduled to be completed in H2 2016.

Angola
Issue 307 - 11 September 2015

Angola: Cobalt to sell to Sonangol

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Sonangol and Cobalt Energy on 22 August signed a sale and purchase agreement for Sonangol to acquire all of Cobalt’s 40% participating interest in Blocks 21/09 and 20/11 for $1.75bn. The blocks contain five discoveries, and a final investment decision on the Cameia development is due by year-end.Cobalt said in February it was seeking to revise the development plan for Cameia to cut costs and planned to sell part of its holding.

Angola
Free

Italian export credit agency Sace has signed a new co-operation agreement with the Ministry of Finance and finalised a E200m ($217m) credit line with national oil company Sonangol. The co-operation accord was signed by Sace head Alessandro Castellano and finance minister Armando Manuel. The agreement was witnessed by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President José Eduardo Dos Santos, during the Angolan leader’s early July visit to Italy.

Angola
Subscriber

Angola’s government is running short of money just as the issue of who might succeed President José Eduardo dos Santos again comes under discussion. The president raised eyebrows in early July when he said he intended to see out his term of office, and there has been increased repression of government opponents. At the same time, a leaked memo from Sonangol chairman Francisco de Lemos José Maria has sharply criticised the legacy of his predecessor Manuel Vicente, now Angolan vice-president, and spelled out the problems facing the company.

Angola