Gemcorp Completes Cabinda Refinery’s Preliminary Construction Stage

Emerging markets trade and investment group Gemcorp has completed the preliminary construction stage of the Cabinda Oil Refinery project in Angola.

Gemcorp entered into a joint venture (JV) to build the refinery with Sonaref – a subsidiary of Angola’s state-owned oil and gas company, Sonangol – in January 2020. The refinery is being built on the Malembo plain, about 30Km north of Cabinda’s capital, with a final investment decision likely to be reached by 30 June 2020, with construction expected to begin in August 2020.

“We’re working closely with domestic and international contractors, and are pleased to be on track with the delivery of this important project. Once in operation, the Cabinda Refinery will create significant value for the Angolan economy and in particular reduce its dependence on foreign energy imports,” says Reginald Crawford, Partner at Gemcorp Capital LLP.

Phase 1 of the Cabinda Refinery will produce 30 000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2021, while phase 2 will increase the ability for refining to 60,000 bpd and include a reformer to convert straight run naphtha to gasoline. The third and final phase of the refinery conversion will be completed by installing a hydrocracker to convert heavy fuel oil into gas oil or diesel, set for the end of 2023. The first priority and preference for distribution of white products (diesel, gasoline, Jet A1, and naphtha) will be for domestic consumption.

The Cabinda Refinery is a key pillar of the Angolan government’s strategy to develop its refining and transporting sector. A large amount of crude oil produced in Angola is exported, with refined products imported from Europe or further afield costing Angola a lot of money. This has led to the nation’s decision to build the new refinery that will substitute the need for these expensive imports, create jobs and boost exports of surplus higher margin refined products, particularly to regional markets that will benefit from faster delivery.