Eni puts Cabaça North on stream on Block 15/06 offshore Angola

Following Cuica in July this year, Eni has now achieved first oil from Cabaça North on Block 15/06 offshore Angola. Both fields are tied back to the Olombendo FPSO commissioned back in 2017 to initially develop the Cabaça Southeast and Cabaça Central UM8 fields on the license’s East hub.

While Cabaça North was always going to be part of the East hub’s second phase of development, several additional fields were discovered by Eni over the past three years and are now being successfully tied-back under the company’s “infrastructure-led” exploration strategy (ILX).

Source: MinFin Angola

Ndungu will be the next discovery to achieve first oil within the coming months but tied back to the N’Goma FPSO on the block’s West hub. Meanwhile, Cabaça North will help in maintain output from Block 15/06 where production averaged only 100,000 bopd in H1 2021 compared to a combined capacity of 180,000 bopd across both FPSO vessels.

Block 15/06 remains a very lucrative asset for Eni and Sonangol with strong upside potential. As of December 2020, 142.2m barrels had been produced from the West Hub (N’Goma FPSO) with remaining reserves estimated at 174m barrels, while 85.7m barrels had been produced from the East Hub (Armada Olombendo FPSO) where remaining reserves were estimated at 159.8m barrels. As part of its ongoing Partial Divestment Process, Sonangol is currently negotiating the sale of up to 10% of its interest in Block 15/06.

Angola is currently sub-Saharan Africa’s most dynamic deep-water subsea market with majors such as TotalEnergies, Eni and BP involved in several subsea tiebacks and infill projects to maintain and increase output from existing production hubs. The country continues to be faced with declining output despite recent increase in production in July and August. Angola has produced an average of 1.143m barrels of oil per day (bopd) between January and August this year according to the ANPG. Its OPEC quota for September is set at 1.348m bopd.

Full details on Block 15/06 are available in the “Projects” section within your Hawilti+ research terminal. More information on the Angolan oil & gas market is also available in Hawilti’s latest H1 2021 report on Angola.

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Sun Africa is mobilising over $2 bn for Angola’s solar industry

Earlier this year, the consortium of Sun Africa, MCA Solar Angola and Hitachi ABB Power Grids broke ground on 370 MW of solar PV projects in Angola. These are split across seven different facilities now under-construction, including the 188.88 MWdc Biopioa solar plant and the 96.70 MWdc Benguela solar plant. These are developed under a $650m integrated solar project that sees Sun Africa acting as developer while the MCA Group is the EPC contractor and Hitachi ABB Power Grids the original equipment manufacturer. The scheme benefits from a €560m export credit from Sweden and is also financed by K-Sure of South Korea and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). The facilities will be mostly supplied by Swedish contractors, from substations to steel frameworks, with Hitachi ABB Power Grids in Sweden delivering 50% of the Swedish scope of work. The rest will come from NEXTracker’s facility in Fremont (California) and Sun Africa’s facility in Miami (Florida). But Sun Africa took its commitment to Angola a step further this week with the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the development of Africa’s largest mini-grid and rural electrification project at a cost of $1.5bn. The MoU was signed between Angolan Minister of Energy and Water João Baptista Borges during a roundtable organized by the US Chamber of Commerce, in the presence of Angolan President João Lourenço. The project targets increased electrification rates in the provinces of Namibe, Cuando Cubango, Huila and Cunene via the development of mini-grid solar systems and the construction of new substations. The U.S. Exim Bank is expected to provide the bulk of financing. According to the International Energy Agency, less than half of Angola’s population had access to electricity in 2019. While the country has so far mostly relied on hydropower and thermal sources of energy, it also has a high solar resource potential, and its average annual global radiation is estimated at between 1370 and 2100 kWh/m2/year. With this resource, Angolan authorities believe they could install a solar power generation capacity of 55,000 MW. Details on the Benguela and Biopio solar PV facilities are available in the “Projects” section within your Hawilti+ research terminal.

Gabon signs Concession Agreement for new 120 MW gas-to-power plant

Yesterday, the Gabon Power Company (GPC) signed a landmark Concession Agreement with Wärtsilä for the development, supply, construction, operation and maintenance of a new 120 MW gas-to-power project in Owendo, next to the capital city of Libreville. Wärtsilä will jointly lead the project with the GPC, a subsidiary of Gabon’s sovereign wealth fund FGIS via a new joint-venture called Orinko S.A. Under the agreement signed yesterday, Wärtsilä will build the plant under a full Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract and will then operate and maintain it under a long-term 15-year Operation and Maintenance (O&M) agreement. The EPC contract and the O&M agreement will be signed in 2022 with Orinko S.A. When commissioned, the plant will supply electricity to Société d’Energie et d’Eau du Gabon (SEEG), the Gabonese utility, under a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement. Gabon is currently looking at monetizing its gas across several industries, including power generation. The country already runs several gas-to-power facilities, including the 128 MW Owendo plant, the 105 Port Gentil plant and the 75 MW Alenakiri plant. Most plants are supplied in domestic gas by Perenco. The independent delivers gas on land and at sea through a 450km network of high-pressure pipelines and currently ensure the transport and delivery of 50 MMscfd of gas to the power plants of Port-Gentil and Libreville. The new gas-to-power plant with Wärtsilä also falls within Gabon’s ambition to increase power generation capacity across the country. In July this year, the GPC and Meridiam had already successfully reached financial close for the 35 MW Kinguélé Aval hydropower plant.