Upstream Hawilti+ 

Somoil targets 50% increase in production onshore Angola by 2024

Angolan junior Sociedade Petrolífera Angolana (SOMOIL) has contracted the FALCON 1000HP drilling rig for drilling activities at the FS and FST license onshore Angola. Operations will last about three years and will mostly focus on workover and wells repair along with the re-entry of existing wells and the drilling and completion of new wells. In order to increase production, SOMOIL is notably expected to target the Pinda reservoir and expects to reach an average daily output of 10,500 barrels of oil per day (bopd) within three years.

In the first half of 2021, the FS-FST license exported 348,107 barrels (or a daily average of about 1,900 bopd), according to data from the Ministry of Finance.

SOMOIL is also the operator of block 2/05, offshore, and participates in the contractor groups of blocks 3/05, 3/05th, 4/05 and 17/06.

Read more

Air Senegal’s Ambition to Rival Ethiopian Airlines Unshaken Despite Covid19 Crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic was an opportunity for President Macky Sall to set the tone for Senegal’s ambitions in the air transport sector. Last year, he set up an economic and social resilience fund of CFAF 50 billion to support Air Senegal and all the aeronautical structures affected by the pandemic and its subsequent lockdown. Thanks to strong state backing, the airline was able to weather the storm better than other regional competitors, and even opened a brand-new connection with the United States in September. An airline that lives up to Senegal’s ambitions For Macky Sall, Air Senegal is an essential pillar of the Plan Senegal Emergent (PSE), an ambitious development strategy supporting key projects and infrastructure development over the 2014-2023 period. Launched with an initial capital of 40 billion FCFA (61 million euros) mobilised by the State of Senegal, the flagship company started its commercial operations on May 14, 2018, with the ambition of becoming an enabler for tourism an economic development while further opening up Senegal to the world. “I dream of a company which will be in 20 years the alter ego of Ethiopian Airlines which is a success for Ethiopia”, Macky Sall declared last August, recognising the strong resilience of the Ethiopian company since the start of the global health crisis. Born from the ashes of the defunct Senegal Airlines (2016), the launch of Air Senegal responds to a rigorous and coherent approach based on rational strategic planning by Senegal, its President suggested. “I personally and particularly monitor the development of Air Senegal, one or two days do not go by without me calling the Director General or the Minister […] because I want it to be a success and it is possible. “ Only 3 years after its launch, Air Senegal is obviously well on its way to supporting President Macky Sall’s ambition to make Dakar a hub. The company is staying the course and does not hide its ambitions for growth. Amid the health crisis, Air Senegal continues to expand its service network. It is in fact one of the fastest growing African companies in recent years. Since February, the carrier has opened six new routes: Lyon, Milan, Douala, Libreville, Cotonou and Freetown. Its service map now includes around fifteen cities in fourteen countries in Africa and Europe. But Air Senegal has not stopped there. On September 2nd, the company opened its first trans-Atlantic route to New York and Washington in the United States. It estimates that approximately 42,224 passengers will be carried in the first year of service. To support its growth plan, the government has relied on a modern fleet. Air Senegal expects the first of its eight Airbus A220-300s on order by the end of the year. These are flexible and responsive carrier that will allow operation “with 25% less fuel costs and 17% less maintenance costs,” said Managing Director Ibrahima Kane. The company currently operates 8 aircraft, including two Airbus A330-900neo. It is the first operator of such a carrier in Africa. Brand new infrastructure But the creation of the national company is not an isolated venture. It fits into a broader scheme seeking to democratize air transport across the country, in accordance with the objectives of the PES. Such vision supported the commissioning in December 2017 of Dakar Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD), an ultra-modern platform that become the main gateway to Senegal. It has a handling capacity of 3 million passengers, expandable to 10 million. In 2019, it handled a record 2.5 million passengers, making it into the top 5 busiest hubs in West Africa. AIBD is based on a large land reserve offering the possibility of building a second airstrip when needed. But the success of Air Senegal and of Senegal’s aviation hub plan inevitably depends on the local training of human resources and the domestication of maintenance tasks. “Whenever a company is forced to look for expatriates, pilots or mechanics, a maintenance center elsewhere than at home, it has little chance of being profitable”, Ibrahima Kane insisted, stressing that Air Senegal needs 120 pilots within 3 years. In December, the company signed a memorandum of understanding with AIBD SA for the establishment of a partnership and cooperation framework for the construction of an aeronautical maintenance center at a cost of around 56 billion FCFA (85 million euros). Earlier this month, Air Senegal launched the recruitment campaign for its very first class of cadet pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians. Successful candidates will be trained at the International Academy of Civil Aviation Trades (AIMAC), the new benchmark school set up by Air Senegal in collaboration with the Senegalese Air Force. At the end of a 2-year training course, they will join the airline as airline pilot officers and aeronautical maintenance technicians. Ultimately, Senegal is also aware that the attractiveness of the country – which targets 3 million tourists per year – depends on the development of poles around the seaside, cultural, eco-tourism, ad business sectors. One of the key target of the PSE, in its “infrastructure” section includes the modernization of 13 regional airports for a budget of over 210 million euros.

Amethis successfully exits Burkina Faso’s leading LPG distributor

Following its investment in Burkina Faso’s leading LPG distributor Sodigaz APC in 2017, Amethis has just sold its 22% stake in the company to African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM). Over the years, Sodigaz has built a 60% market share of Burkina Faso’s LPG distribution market and currently relies on a network of 2,200 gas resellers. Since its beginning in 1977, the company has grown to a 780-employee structure known for its commitment to gender equality. The entry of AIIM into Sodigaz’ capital takes place as West Africa’s LPG market experiences significant growth. As a result, the company has recorded an annual growth rate of over 14% over the past four years and expanded into neighbouring countries such as Benin. As West Africa’s middle class expands and governments seek to fight deforestation and promote public health, the demand for a clean cooking fuel such as LPG is on the rise. This is a trend that applies to the rest of the region and is increasingly generating the interest of investors, especially private equity players. Earlier this year for instance, Investisseurs & Partenaires’ fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 made a $3m equity investment in XpressGas, Ghana’s fastest growing LPG distributor.