Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Equatorial Guinea Leading African Energy Production

In just ten years, Equatorial Guinea has become one of the major regional powers in hydrocarbon extraction and processing, leading to an unprecedented economic boom and transformation and a case study in the world, according to a recent report in the ICE Economic Bulletin. The development of the country’s energy sector plays a significant role in taking the country closer to become an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020.

ICE Economic Bulletin (InformaciĆ³n Comercial EspaƱola) is published by Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism.

The country has a leading role in the African energy production environment. Two years ago, “Equatorial Guinea was the third largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, the second on the continent in gas liquefaction (and one of only three in the Atlantic basin, along with Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago) and is also a producer of liquefied petroleum gas and methanol,” said the report.

The ICE Bulletin describes several initiatives the government is taking in the petroleum sector that will pay dividends in the future. First, Equatorial Guinea’s decision to stop burning off natural gas at the well and build a natural gas pipeline and terminal facility on the island of Bioko will provide several options for use of the gas, including liquefaction and electricity generation. A second liquefied natural gas (LNG) train in Malabo would make the country a regional hub for the product.

Plans to build a new refinery on the continent in Mbini and a petrochemical plant on the island of Bioko will end the country’s complete dependence on imports for refined petroleum products.

Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has established the strengthening of the energy sector in Equatorial Guinea as a national priority. Last month, Equatorial Guinea partnered with Energy Allied International to develop the petrochemical sector in the country. Continuing the efforts surrounding energy improvement, President Obiang unveiled plans for nationwide electrification at a National Electrification conference. He predicted that with wise use of the country’s natural resources, Equatorial Guinea would enjoy full electrification and energy self-sufficiency.