Gabon set to attract massive investment in energy sector

Ali Bongo OndimbaDuring a working visit to Libreville this week, African Energy Chamber (AFC) is promoting investments into Gabon’s energy sector value chain while supporting the local private sector development

During its visit, AFC lauded the leadership of Ali Bongo Ondimba in pushing for the country’s new hydrocarbons code and Gabon’s potential to attract substantial investment and expressed its support to the government’s continued drive to create an enabling environment for the local and international private companies.

“Gabon is a well-established African petroleum province entering into a new era of growth and energy transition,” declared Nj Ayuk, executive chairman at AFC and CEO of the Centurion Law Group.

“The country’s ambition to increase investment in upstream, expand energy infrastructure and above all develop a robust gas industry needs to be backed by private sector capital and technology. This requires the creation of a strong enabling environment, which is what the industry is calling for.”

Last year, Gabon passed the new hydrocarbons code, which contains more attractive fiscal terms, in line with other sub-Saharan competitors. The new regime saw the signing of 12 PSCs with foreign companies such as Assala Energy, Petronas, Sinopec and Perenco, boosting investors confidence in the market’s potential.

Gabon is promoting its sedimentary basin through its 12th Licensing Round, which offers no less than 35 oil and gas blocks to bidders. A delegation from the Ministry of Petroleum, Gas, Hydrocarbons and Mines led by the minister Vincent de Paul Massassa was in Houston this week where it met several partners and foreign investors.

New regulatory framework emphasise on local content

The hydrocarbons code notably introduces the concept of indigenous enterprise, defined as a Gabon-registered company whose management is Gabonese, where at least 60 per cent of the capital is held by Gabonese nationals and whose workforce is composed by at least 80 per cent of Gabonese nationals.

Gabon’s indigenous companies are given priority and preference over the signing of exploitation conventions for the development of marginal discoveries and marginal and mature fields, in a bid to build a strong local value chain.

“The private sector will be driving the growth of Gabon’s energy sector, and the new Code has put in a place a framework which is very encouraging for local companies and entrepreneurs,” added NJ Ayuk. “It gives an opportunity for the Gabon Oil Company to be a crucial player in driving up partnerships across the country’s oil and gas sector while providing opportunities for the local private sector to grow along.”

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