Three Questions with C. Derek Campbell

The CEO of TransGen Energy C. Derek Campbell tells us about the importance of a secure energy investment environment and the opportunities for actors with high liquidity.

The next big thing: Where do you see the greatest opportunities for the oil and power sectors in Africa?

In both the oil and power sectors, I see massive investment opportunities for investors with liquidity. These actors will be able to swoop in and take over operations from companies that did not manage their economics well during the current “flatline” period of oil prices and the associated fiscal shock that these flat prices caused throughout the Sub-Saharan African energy sector. As security environments change for the better and as investment regimes stabilize – through good governance that is sweeping the continent and diminishing perceived risks – you will see non-traditional investors in energy, such as family offices and independents, use their available liquidity to seize struggling or abandoned oil and power assets.

Making Africa more attractive for investment: What does it take and what do you want to see?

Africa becomes more attractive for investment through an active effort, particularly by NOCs and influential indigenous companies, to establish a secure environment for doing business in the energy sector. It’s important to give investors, insurers, and international operators a sense of physical and cyber security that is active in mitigating operational risks in the oil and power sectors. Because of the potential to improve African markets’ ability to attract investment using this approach, we have invested in creating an Energy Security service offering that helps the owners of critical energy infrastructure assets diminish the perceived and actual risk associated with owning and operating such assets. We would like to see a more active effort at the ministry and state enterprise level to make energy investment more secure.

Your year in oil and power: what do you expect in 2016?

From an acquisition perspective, we expect 2016 to be filled with a vast array of market opportunities for new players – particularly because of the collapse of companies who began operations and became over-extended fiscally. From a services perspective, more specifically, we will focus on key frontier markets like Nigeria and South Sudan to deploy our Energy Security services to enhance our presence in the oil and power industries in Africa.

Mr. Campbell and our other panelists will discuss the dynamics of investing in Africa’s energy industry at Africa’s elite energy event on June 6-7 in Cape Town.