UK-based firm eyes stake in Namibia’s petroleum industry
United Kingdom based Matrix Petroleum currently operating in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe are keenly eyeing the Namibian market in the next year or two, as part of its African expansion drive.
Considering that the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) recently took charge of the country’s multi-million-dollar national oil storage facility, which consists of a tanker jetty, multiple product pipelines and a terminal consisting of seven tanks, this development presents an opportunity for Matrix..
Matrix Petroleum owner and Chief Executive Officer, Malvin Chiwanga said the company sees potential in the Namibian market which is characterised by high investor appetite as well as firm respect for property rights.
“If our plans move well to enter the Namibian market by 2022, we aim to deliver 100 million litres of petroleum to Namibia each month from January 2022,’ Chiwanga said.
He reiterated the company which currently employs 30,000 people across the world will target employing a workforce of about 1500 people in Namibia of which 700 will be contractors.
Chiwanga currently oversees the company’s extensive network across eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa and exports to many other territories, mostly in Africa
“By March 2022 we will be running in excess of 15 countries in Africa.We are very much guided by expectations and feel that our awareness of the cultural differences in each country has given us a commercial advantage. Different markets have different needs and our approach reflects that,” he said.
He also added that, “Since 2019 our target has been to aggressively grow the business outside of Guernsey by eight to ten times and we aim to accomplish this by 2023, which is where the name ‘EPIC 2019 comes from. We have tripled our income to date and we are on course to meet our target.”
Matrix also plans to be listed on the London Stock Exchange by 2023.
Matrix has two major distribution channels, the first being its wholesale arm, which concentrates on service stations, offering a variety of services depending on the requirements in country.
“Since we decided to expand across the sub-Sahara region we have secured several storages. The second distribution channel is the business to business sector, where Matrix has forged strong relationships with a number of industries including airlines, mining and transport companies.
Although the company has been experiencing steady growth, the ongoing Covid pandemic and reduced demand for oil worldwide have been some of the major challenges faced by the company.
“This is definitely a work in progress for us and we often encounter national regulations that determine where we have to source products. We have invested over £14 million in infrastructure and we plan to open a new depot in Namibia, which will significantly increase our capacity to support growth,” he said.
He also added that, “Another challenge is ensuring that we have enough skilled people for an organisation that wants to grow rapidly. Will run in house training schemes to develop staff with technical skills and we have a targeted personal development programme, which will run alongside a graduate recruitment initiative.”