São Tomé and Príncipe pays debt to Angola’s Sonangol over 25 years

The US$150 million debt of the São Tomé and Príncipe National Fuel and Oil Company (ENCO) to Angola’s Sonangol will be paid at a rate of US$500,000 per month, said the Minister for Planning, Finance and the Blue Economy.

Osvaldo Vaz said this decision is intended to show that the São Tomé and Príncipe government intends to prevent the debt to Sonangol from rising further, with US$500,000 to be handed over by water and electricity company Emae to pay ENCO, which will then deposit it in the Angolan state company’s account.

“Given that previously nothing was being paid, this is a big sign and we believe we will improve,” said the minister, adding that the months of July and August have already been paid, and now the month of September will be paid.

The minister noted that Sonangol had “turned off the tap” when it decided to reduce the fuel supply to one-third of the usual and said he believed there would be an increase in supply following the visit of Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus to Angola.

Emae’s CEO Celestino Andrade said last week that the company owes about US$140 million to ENCO, due to non-payment of fuel to power the country’s thermal power plants.

State-owned Emae is the only electricity producer and distributor in the archipelago, and ENCO is majority-owned by Sonangol, with 76% of the share capital. (Macauhub)