Angola’s Lobito refinery ready in 2010, says Sonangol chief

17 May 2007

Luanda, Angola, 17 May – The planned oil refinery in the Angolan port city of Lobito will be operational in 2010, following the resolution of problems relating to the financing of the project, the CEO of Angolan state energy company Sonangol has said.

In an interview with the Economia & Mercado business journal, Manuel Vicente said Sonangol will now build the Lobito refinery on its own after the withdrawal of China’s Sinopec from the project due to disagreements between the two parties on what fuel products the new refinery will produce.

The new Lobito refinery will cost US$ 3 billion to build and when it opens, Angola will save over US$ 500 million in annual costs of importing fuel. The country will also start to export fuel.

The Lobito refinery will have a daily production capacity of 240,000 barrels and, in its first phase, will have an annual output of 6 million tons (around 120,000 barrels daily).

Angola currently pumps around 1.4 million barrels of oil daily but only has one refinery with a limited production of 40,000 barrels daily, built in the 1950s on the outskirts of Luanda.

The new Lobito refinery will end fuel supply problems that Sonangol has temporarily resolved through resort to imports.

Angola is the second biggest oil producer in Africa south of the Sahara, after Nigeria, with estimated petroleum reserves of 12 billion barrels. (macauhub)