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Energy

Sonangol is expected to buy renewable energy company before privatization

Cedesa, an entity that analyzes political and economic issues in Angola, defended this Sunday that the oil company Sonangol should acquire a renewable energy company to develop this business and become more attractive for privatization.

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"At the present moment, in which the intention is to privatize Sonangol from a global perspective," it is important that the oil company has "tasks in the area of renewable energy," Cedesa argues in an analysis document to which Lusa had access.

Because, "to be an attractive company for the international stock market, Sonangol must present itself as adopting the latest trends in oil companies, and also following the needs of the energy transition," the group of academics believes.

Sonangol "should boldly explore the combined possibilities brought by renewable energies," Cedesa argues.

But this exploration "should not start from scratch," but should have "some sustainability and economies of scale," reinforces the group of academics, recalling that it had already touched on this path in previous reports, putting forward, however, the hypothesis that Sonangol could have a strategic partnership with Portugal's Galp for this new business area.

Now, Cedesa considers that if this is not "the hypothesis adopted", the Angolan oil company should review "the rationality of its permanence in Galp".

In the opinion of the Cedesa scholars, at this moment, the Angolan position in the Portuguese oil company is "sandwiched" between the businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, daughter of former President José Eduardo dos Santos, and the Amorim family (heirs of businessman Américo Amorim), and thus corresponds "to a mere financial investment", which "no longer makes much sense".

In this way, "either Galp becomes a strategic partner for Sonangol's energy transition, or a revision of the position becomes necessary.

In the latter context, "the alternative would be for Sonangol to acquire a company already minimally established in the field [of renewable energy] and develop its activities from that new platform.

At the moment, partnerships have already been announced with the oil companies ENI (Italian) and Total (French) to develop renewable energy projects, which will be up and running by 2022.

In relation to the company's potential in the area of oil exploration and production, Cedesa believes that "there is room and there is market for Sonangol, as an oil company, to grow.

For this reason, "Sonangol's ongoing strategic structuring should focus on producing more oil in a more efficient manner, both in terms of costs and the environment.

The entity estimates that "in fast-growing economies, more oil will be needed, although often not as exponentially as before.

Thus, "there is a wide margin for Sonangol to continue to focus on oil, both because not even the quotas set by OPEC for Angola are filled" and because the country is currently "producing less than it should in a situation of market restriction.

"As such, Sonangol should not make the mistake - as some oil companies are doing - of underestimating the potential growth of the oil market," they stress.

But they stress that this model, "focused on oil efficiency, must be combined with the enormous potential that is opening up in renewable energies and the company must take advantage of energy synergies, as many of its counterparts are doing, and as China and India are also doing.

"Sonangol must become a bi-focused company: on oil and renewable energies," they conclude.

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