Gemcorp, headquartered in the United Kingdom, announced this Thursday the conclusion of the financial package for the construction of the refinery in Cabinda province, having thus secured all the necessary funding, said Atanas Bostandjiev, in an interview with the Lusa agency.
Gemcorp, as the "investment sponsor", contributes 135 million dollars while the banking syndicate made up of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and Afreximbank Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of South Africa, the Arab Bank for the Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and Banco de Fomento Angola (BFA) will deliver another 335 million for the construction of the refinery.
The project, budgeted at 473 million dollars, was launched two years ago, but according to Atanas Bostandjiev "is not overdue", as during this period "various things were done to speed up" the works and the technological process, as soon as the financing.
Asked about the repayment of the amounts advanced by the Angolan state oil company Sonangol, a minority shareholder (10 percent), which, as reported by the weekly Expansão, had to replace Gemcorp to pay for the first modules of the future refinery, Atanas added that "everything will be done in accordance with what was contractually established", without advancing deadlines or amounts.
"We have an agreement with Sonangol regarding any financing for the project and we will respect that contract, everything will be done according to the contract", he told Lusa, stressing that it is a different contract from the package now approved for the construction of the refinery.
As for possible difficulties that the sanctions imposed on Russia, due to the war in Ukraine, pose to Gemcorp's access to the financial markets, due to connections with Russian entities and investors, the official regretted the "tragedy", but stressed that the conclusion of the financing of the Cabinda refinery, led by two of the largest pan-African banks, shows that Gemcorp "lives up to its promises".
"And it shows that we are stronger than ever when it comes to attracting investment into strategic projects. This financial package is testament to that," he added.
Atanas Bostandjiev pointed out that Gemcorp has been injecting a significant amount of capital into the Angolan economy, indicating that, in the next few months, the second phase of the refinery will be launched, with over 30,000 barrels per day, helping to satisfy almost 20 percent of the needs of refined products.
"The energy sector is one of our main focuses and we believe that the Cabinda refinery will be a significant step towards further developing this industry in Angola. developing the second phase, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and even a small petrochemical unit", he stressed.
"For us, the objective is to use financial and industrial knowledge and skills, use local resources, bring 'know-how' and create jobs", added the CEO and founder of Gemcorp.
Gemcorp currently employs around 150 people in Angola.