A private player bringing new value to Angola TEY_post_Edson-R.-DOS-SANTOS

Our lubricants line and manufacturing unit will add to the value that our downstream and distribution division brings to Angola.

Edson R. DOS SANTOS CEO ETU ENERGIAS

Etu Energias turns 24 and continues bringing value to Angola

July 10, 2024

Edson R. Dos Santos, chairman of the board of Etu Energias, talks to The Energy Year about the company’s growth strategy, the value of its technical partnership with SLB and the growing importance of renewable energy in its portfolio. Etu Energias is the largest private Angolan oil company.

What is Etu Energias’ key strategy for growth?
During 2023 we went through a rebranding process. We no longer focus only on oil. We’re not just an oil company; we are now focused on energias, that is, energy in general.
Furthermore, we moved away from just exporting. We want to do a lot more in Angola. Therefore, we are expanding our business. We are placing great focus on renewables, in particular, solar. We started several solar energy projects in Soyo and in Kwanza Sul. We are also investing heavily in our downstream business.
However, we haven’t forgotten our base, which is efficiently and effectively producing oil and gas, and we want to continue doing that. Therefore, we have made a significant investment in our own operations, especially onshore. Etu Energias participated in the last tender launched by ANPG and did very well. We now operate in one more block, CON-1, and we are partners in another block, CON-6.
In these two assets, our goal is to actively participate in exploration activity and then very quickly move to production. We have really ambitious growth plans for our own operations, but we also continue to look for opportunities to grow through acquisitions.

How important are your recently signed partnerships with Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and SLB?
The support we are receiving from Africa Finance Corporation is a game-changer for us. Our ambitious plans would be impossible without the support of our many partners. AFC is one of those, but I am happy to say that we are starting to see a positive shift from Angolan banks too.
Our technical partnership with SLB also plays a very important role in our growth strategy. SLB will bring in the technology and know-how that we need to grow aggressively. We are very ambitious, but we are also humble and understand the areas that a good partner can make better.
The mandate for the industry as a whole is very clear: we need to produce more oil. Our focus is to continue to increase our production: from 2020 to today, we more than doubled our operated production. And we expect to grow it at least 20% in 2024. We are looking to add 25 to 30,000 bopd in 2024.
This year we are preparing to restart drilling activities. The USD 60-million loan we were granted by AFC will be instrumental for this, and not just for production purposes but also exploration, both onshore and offshore. In the blocks that ANPG recently awarded us, we are also planning to conduct seismic exploration campaigns this year and move into drilling wells by late 2024.

 

What is Etu Energias’ strategy for further growing its downstream division?
Launching our new lubricants line and announcing the construction of a lubricants manufacturing unit in March 2024 was a historical milestone for us. This adds to the value that our downstream and distribution division brings to Angola. Today, we are running three petrol stations, but our vision is to grow this to about 40 petrol stations in the next four years, and having our own lubricants products creates more value for the downstream services and products that we offer to our customers.
In terms of the lubricants business, we want to achieve a minimum 25% of the market share in the next five years. Unfortunately, as of today, we still have to import a lot of the raw materials that go into making these lubricants, and we expect that to continue over the next few years. However, the government is pushing very hard, as well as the industry as a whole, to invest more in more in-country downstream capacity. We hope to be able to capture and capitalise on those opportunities and be part of Angola’s growth in this sector.

How important will renewable energy be for the company in the future?
Renewable energy will be very important. Over the last two years, we moved away from diesel. All our power in our operations is now provided via natural gas. That’s already a step in the right direction. We have begun building solar panels for our own operations to demonstrate that we believe in clean energies and that we want to provide them ourselves.
The advantage of solar is that it allows projects to be done off-grid. We don’t have to be connected to the main supply lines of Angola. We can help electrify rural areas and remote villages that are far away from the existing grid. That’s part of our focus.
Renewable energy will be growing at a faster pace than oil and gas, but overall oil and gas will remain our main business. We expect that solar will continue to occupy a much larger part of our portfolio over the next three to four years.
We believe in the energy transition and in the role that Angola can play thanks to Etu Energias’ exciting investments in this area.

What’s your vision of the future for Etu Energias?
We are really ambitious. Today, we are the largest private Angolan oil company. We will continue to grow. We want to take Etu Energias outside of Angola. We’ll go international.
We believe in Angola. Here we have sanctity of contract. We have a friendly government that is willing to make adjustments to existing contracts to promote more investment. Consequently, we expect to continue to grow mainly in Angola but also to expand and diversify geographically.
Our vision is to become an integrated energy company. We want to go from drilling wells offshore and onshore, to being in touch with the customer in our petrol stations, all the way to providing energy to our customers’ homes.
We believe in Angola, and Angola remains our priority, our investments in the country are a testament to that.

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