After Gabon, Togo, and Benin, Arise IIP sets its eyes on Congo-Brazzaville

Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms (IIP) has signed yesterday an MoU with the Ministry of International Cooperation and Public-Private Partnership Promotion of the Republic of Congo for the development of two new industrial zones in Pointe-Noire and Ouésso. The Republic of Congo would hold a 30% stake in both projects, with Arise IPP retaining the remaining 70%.

The company is notably expected to invest some €150m into the new industrial zone in Pointe-Noire and a mineral port, in a scheme that echoes what Arise IPP has already done in Gabon.

“The Pointe-Noire SEZ and the mineral port will spread across 2700 hectares, and will focus on the local transformation of timber, agriproducts, and other processing industry,” Arise IPP said in a statement.

Feasibility studies should be completed by the end of August 2022 for a completion of the projects in 2025.

Arise IIP has already developed 12 integrated industrial zones across Africa, with the Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ) seen as a true example of success. In 2021, it also launched Togo’s landmark multi-sectoral industrial park, the Plateforme Industrielle d’Adétikopé (PIA). In 2022, it is expected to launch the Glo-Djigbé Industrial Zone (GDIZ) in Benin.

The company continues to be backed by the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and Olam of Singapore, its two shareholders.  

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The US is contemplating increasing debt provided to South Africa’s leading gas, LNG, and helium project

The United States’ International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is evaluating an increase of its loan to Renergen’s Virginia Gas Project in South Africa by up to $500m. The development finance institution (DFI), previously known as Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), had already provided $40m in debt to finance Phase 1 of the project. Its growing appetite is welcomed news as most gas infrastructure developers in Africa have criticized the withdrawal of Western DFIs from financing oil and natural gas projects on the continent. South Africa’s first LNG and helium project The Virginia Gas Project is developed by Tetra4, a wholly owned subsidiary of ASX-listed Renergen. It is developing South Africa’s first and only onshore petroleum production right to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) and helium, a first in the country. Its Phase 1 includes a scalable gas plant and 52km of pipeline, and a maximum production target of 74.6 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) (about 350kg) of liquid helium and 2,700 GJ (50 tons) of LNG. Upon start of production, Renergen will notably become South Africa’s first distributor of LNG at filling stations through its partnership with French major TotalEnergies. Phase 2 is expected to follow by 2024, further increasing LNG production to meet an anticipated increase in demand and provide LNG supplies across all major highways in South Africa. Key contracts for phase 2 were awarded in early 2021, including the FEED studies, and the final investment decision (FID) is expected to be taken once these are completed. Phase 2 is designed to allow Renergen to produce significantly larger quantities of LNG and liquid helium: it should notably require a CAPEX of $800m and involve a drilling campaign of 297 wells, anticipated to build up to 44 MMscfd at full production. 65% of Phase 2’s anticipated production is already pre-sold to clients including Linde, Meser, Helium 24 and iSi. Details on the Virginia Gas Project, including contractors, financiers, and offtakers, are available in the “Projects” section within your Hawilti+ research terminal.

Tullow Oil and Capricorn Energy agree on all-stock merger deal

Tullow Oil and Capricorn Energy (formerly Cairn Energy) have agreed earlier this week on an all-stock merger deal worth over $800m. The combination of both companies will create one of Africa’s leading independent energy companies, and confirms the strong rise of M&A deals in Africa this year. The deal is likely to be implemented as a Court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement under which Tullow Oil would acquire all of the issued and to be issued shares of Capricorn Energy. Upon completion, Capricorn Energy shareholders would hold some 47% of the new combined group, and Tullow Oil’s shareholders the remaining 53%. While the name of the new combined company is yet to be revealed, it would sit on some 343m barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of reserves (2P) and 696m boe of resources with a production of some 96,000 boepd. The company would still be listed in London and be one of the largest Africa-focused energy independents. A Portfolio of Incremental, High-Return Investment Opportunities The new group will be present across lucrative assets in Ghana, Egypt, Gabon, and Côte d’Ivoire. Capricorn Energy notably entered Egypt in 2021 when it acquired Shell’s onshore assets in the Western Desert along with its consortium partner Cheiron. The gas-rich fields represent some 36,500 boepd of output for Capricorn Energy, with significant opportunity to deliver self-funded growth production via infill drilling and low-cost exploration. In Ghana, Tullow Oil’s success stories continues deliver returns while generating local value via the producing Jubilee and TEN fields where a drilling campaign is ongoing until 2025. New development wells are notably planned, especially at Jubilee South-East. Tullow Oil also has non-operated interests in key producing fields such as Espoir in Côte d’Ivoire or Tchatamba and Ezanga in Gabon. In 2021, the company’s working interest production averaged 59,200 boepd. Infrastructure-led exploration will be executed across these assets over the coming years, with opportunities to unlock additional reserves and maintain production decline. The wells will be reported within Hawilti’s Exploration Watch, available within the Hawilti+ Terminal. New Plays in Frontier Basins The new group could also be a key pioneer in the development of reserves in Kenya, Mauritania and Latin America notably. Tullow Oil is a partner in Project Oil Kenya, where a final investment decision (FID) is expected in 2023. The onshore project would deliver 120,000 bopd at peak and be Kenya’s first oil venture. Meanwhile, Capricorn Energy is hopeful that its C7 Block offshore Mauritania could yield success soon. The Dauphin-1 exploratory well could notably be drilled there in a couple of years.