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Final investment decision taken for Cabinda Refinery

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Sonangol has announced that Gemcorp, a trade and investment group in emerging markets, has taken the final investment decision for the construction of the Cabinda Refinery.

The refinery, which will be built on the Malembo plain, 30 km north of the capital of Cabinda, will be the first private investment of this nature in Angola and will use the latest North American technology for its design, operation and development in 3 phases, with adherence to the Equator Principles.

The first phase of the Project is expected to include 30 000 bpd of the Crude Distillation Unit, with a desalinator, kerosene treatment and auxiliary infrastructure, including a conventional float anchoring system, pipelines and storage facility for more than 1.2 million barrels. First phase expenses are approximately US$220 million. The 2nd and 3rd phases will turn the Cabinda Refinery into a total conversion refinery, with an additional refining capacity of 30 000 bpd and the installation of a new catalytic reformer, hydrotreater and catalytic cracking unit, which should total US$700 million.

The formal construction of the site started in March 2020, with the complete cleaning and preparation of the land completed in August 2020. Construction of a fence for the site started in September 2020 for 313 hectares of land. The main long-term items were ordered in early November 2020 and the Refinery is expected to start operating in 1Q22.

The project will create approximately 2000 direct and indirect jobs for the community, sustaining and supporting local and national economies. These opportunities cover the areas of construction, engineering, logistics, security and administration.

“This final investment decision represents one of the main strategic objectives of the Angolan Government. The construction of this Refinery will provide an increase in the capacity for processing crude oil at the national level and a considerable reduction in the country's dependence on imports of refined products, as provided for in the National Development Plan. Sonangol is pleased to support this private initiative which not only makes a major contribution to the socio-economic development of Angola, but also encourages increased foreign direct investment in the country,” said Sebastião Gaspar Martins, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sonangol EP.

“The private investment of the Cabinda Refinery demonstrates Gemcorp's commitment to the development of Angolan strategic assets and our ability to deliver in the most challenging moments. Gemcorp is excited to deliver this project and support the Angolan government's long-term strategic goals of energy independence and job creation in Angola. Through the Cabinda Refinery, Gemcorp will accelerate community outreach, training and social impact. The long-term plan is for the Cabinda Refinery to maximise local employment and transition to operation by a fully Angolan workforce,” said Atana Bostandjiev, President of Gemcorp.

“The final investment decision is an important milestone in Gemcorp's efforts to continue formal construction on the ground. This private investment will support Angola's goal of achieving energy independence and reducing imports of refined products. Using the plan agreed with Sonangol and the Government of Angola, the refinery will replace the need for expensive imports and create thousands of job opportunities, providing significant long-term benefits for the Angolan economy, especially in the Cabinda region. With the support of Sonangol and the Government of Angola, the Gemcorp group was able to overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19 and committed to delivering the Cabinda Refinery on time and maximising the delivery of refined products dedicated to local consumption,” Reginald Crawford said.

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