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Namcor considers retail business

The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) says plans are at an advanced stage to enter into the lucrative fuel retail business. Managing Director, Obeth Kandjoze says there are two projects in the pipeline that have already been approved by the Namcor board.
He said: “There is a service station we are planning in a small town between Rundu and Katima. Just a few weeks back the board approved that investment based on the economies that we see and rate of return on the dollar invested.
“We should by now have either tenders running, or perhaps in not-too-long distant future. That normally doesn’t take long because these are just service stations along the levels of N$2 million or N$2.5 million perhaps a little bit less for each one of those.”
Kandjoze, however, cautioned against setting up service stations everywhere in the country without looking at the return on investment.
He said:“We will not just put a service station anywhere where it does not make sense, we need to have a healthy return on that investment, that is the determining criteria. We need to know the payback period and return on the dollar, that is, whether we are making a profit or not. If we are not, sorry we don’t get in there.”
Although Namcor would have wanted to be more aggressive in its retail business strategy, the Namcor MD says the sale of service stations like BP and Caltex came at a time when Namcor was struggling financially.
“For Caltex, the timing was just inopportune for us.
“I think that consideration [entering into retail] is favourably considered by the Namcor board as I speak to you, so not being aggressive should not be the focus. It is more of a calculated approach of how you want to expand rather than a haphazard loading of business opportunities.
“In the calculation of how we aggressively tackle that growth, remember that I said that we have a department that is thinly staffed and that is a back step and unless we get the personnel that I spoke about earlier, we may have a challenge. So aggression, although is our intention, the practical bodies to do these, financially, technically and otherwise, will remain a challenge. We want to be calculative about how we move that agenda forward instead of taking positions that will come back to haunt us,” Kandjoze said.
In terms of the bulk fuel storage facilities, Namcor is looking at setting up something in the Lüderitz area in the future, but again Kondjeze emphasised that it has to be on the basis of return on investment.
Currently Namcor has bulk fuel storage facilities in Otjiwarongo, Keetmanshoop and Mariental. There are also plans by the government to build a N$1 billion, 70-million litre petroleum storage depot in Walvis Bay which will be managed by Namcor.

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.