Namibia, Equatorial Guinea strengthen energy relations with high-level visit
A delegation led by the Minister of mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo is currently in Equatorial Guinea, meeting with high-level industry executives and touring the country’s liquefied natural gas facilities.
The visit aims to strengthen energy ties and expand the local content dialogue between the two nations. With the visit well underway, a series of bilateral meetings, site visits, and collaborative discussions have paved the way for further cooperation between the two nations.
During the visit, the Namibian delegation comprising Alweendo; Petroleum Commissioner, Maggy Shino; and Managing Director of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), Immanuel Mulunga among other dignitaries, conducted a site visit to Equatorial Guinea’s Punta Europa Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) complex (EG LNG), where the delegation gained insight into facility operations, challenges, and successes. For Namibia, the site visit provided a unique understanding of how the facility operates, while for Equatorial Guinea, it was the chance to share best practices regarding gas monetization in Africa.
Thereafter, several bilateral meetings took place between the Namibian delegation and Equatorial Guinea executives. Firstly, NAMCOR met with Juan Antonio Ndong Ondo, Director General of Equatorial Guinea’s national gas company, SONAGAS, as well as Vicente Abeso Mbuy, First Deputy Director General of Equatorial Guinea’s national oil company (NOC), GEPetrol. During the meetings, parties discussed the role NOCs play in driving oil and gas developments in Africa; the training and development of nationals; and the role gas plays in boosting the local and regional economies, with both SONAGAS and GEPetrol providing key insight into strategies for gas monetization as well as the rapid developments of resources.
Following these meetings, Alweendo met with H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, with discussions largely centered around how Namibia can secure investment and fast-track hydrocarbon development. Having made two sizeable oil and gas discoveries this year, Namibia is committed to seeing these developments come online as soon as possible, with insight from Equatorial Guinea key for helping the country realize this objective. In May 2007, EG LNG’s first cargo was delivered, making it one of the fastest LNG projects in terms of the timeline it took from the final investment decision to the first cargo. As such, Hon. Minister Alweendo is hoping to replicate this achievement, with both ministers emphasizing the role local content will play.
Speaking about the role of local content, Minister Obiang Lima encouraged the Namibian delegation to work closely with the NOCs to follow the success story of EG LNG. At the onset of EG LNG, a strong focus was placed on the development of national staff as well as the integration of nationals into the EG LNG workforce. This not only enabled world-class community engagement between international oil companies (IOC) and the domestic workforce but supported the government’s local content agenda, initiating further programs to develop the capacity of local vendors and contractors.