As demand for energy in Angola and the region continues to grow, the need for energy infrastructure such as refineries grows more evident, creating new investment opportunities for energy security. As such, the first day of the Angola Oil & Gas (AOG) 2023 conference and exhibition featured a panel discussion exploring recent achievements in the expansion of refinery projects in Angola as well as prospects for further energy infrastructure investments.
Moderated by Pedro Letra, Assurance Partner at EY, the panel discussion, titled ‘Mobilizing Capital for Angola’s Infrastructure’, featured the participation of Marcus Weyll, Angola CEO, Gemcorp Capital; Gerson Santos, Executive Administrator, ANPG; Hélder Lisboa, Director of Strategy and Portfolio Management, Sonangol; Jacob Flewelling, Africa Investment Advisor, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation; and Gwen Mwaba, Director and Global Head of Trade Finance, Afreximbank.
For the country to support new production capacity, power transmission infrastructure in Angola will have to be enhanced. Angola’s downstream sector requires significant investment in order to exploit the country’s full energy potential.
“We need to look at energy dependency. We need to look for new technologies. We need to look for local capabilities, and at the end, we need to have a foundation of these downstream manufacturing structures,” stated Lisboa, adding, “There is a need for aptitude, inspiration, and education in today’s energy sector.”
Meanwhile, Angola’s legislation and regulatory environment gives potential investors the opportunity to participate in the country’s energy market with contractual stability. It was noted during the panel session that the country’s regulatory frameworks are flexible and accommodate investor portfolios and backgrounds.
“On the regulatory perspective, Angola is a very valuable asset,” stated Santos, adding, “Contractual stability is something Angola has; we don’t change the rule frequently. Also, Angola has the flexibility to adapt its regulations to the new trends of the market. We are ready to accommodate the Government’s interest and investor interest.”
Weyll shared insight into Gemcorp’s achievements in the Angolan downstream markets, stating that the company has a solid partnership with the Government. “We reached the financial close on the Cabinda project, which is very important to increase further investment. Partnership with Sonangol and the government was very important,” he said.
Meanwhile, the country has made significant strides in its application of Environmental, Social and Governance standards, ensuring that compliance is met with regards to the development of environmental impact assessment reports and ensuring that project’s pose little impact towards local communities and ecosystems.
“The ESG conversation is one that is very topical and very important, not just for investors, but also for lenders. In the case of Angola, it’s really important as investors start to build these energy-related infrastructure projects within ESG compliance standards. One of the ways in which compliance is measured is to have environmental assessment reports done before the projects are implemented,” stated Mwaba.
Meanwhile, for his part, Flewelling spoke of Angola’s noteworthy oil and gas industry and the country’s potential to mobilize capital for infrastructure development in its off- and onshore projects. He noted Angola’s favorable business environment and the potential for international service companies to participate in the country’s energy space.
As such, under the theme, ‘Energy Security, Decarbonization and Sustainable Development’, this year’s edition of AOG 2023 highlights Angola’s role as an emerging energy hub while promoting strategic partnerships and the country’s investment opportunities. Infrastructure development in the country is poised to result in major opportunities for foreign investors and strategic partners to participate in the transformation of Angola’s energy sector.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Energy Capital & Power.