Angola’s production rise puts services in demand Operangola Martim CANTO MONIZ

As Angola’s production picks up, maintenance is extremely necessary in order to guarantee that the facilities and equipment will be able to keep up.

Martim CANTO MONIZ General Director OPERANGOLA

Angola’s production rise puts services in demand

May 19, 2022

Martim Canto Moniz, general director of OperAngola, talks to The Energy Year about key trends affecting the demand for maintenance and repair and services in the Angolan market and the strategy behind the company’s new steel fabrication workshop. OperAngola provides steel fabrication, maintenance, repair, inspection and facilities management services.

What are the key trends affecting the demand for maintenance services in the Angolan market?
For the last few years, oil and gas companies haven’t prioritised maintenance services. Now, as production picks up, maintenance is extremely necessary in order to guarantee that the facilities and equipment will be able to keep up with the production activities on the field, and there is not enough capacity in Angola to effectively respond to all that work.
So, much of the time operators have to seek maintenance services in other external countries.
At the same time, the demand for steel has increased in recent years and it keeps growing, so OperAngola is committed to being one of the biggest partners of oil and gas operators in the supply, fabrication and assembly works of metallic structures with our new workshop located in the ZEE [Luanda-Bengo Special Economic Zone].

What is the demand for digitalised services in the maintenance and inspections segments?
Digitalisation is key for service providers because your information is more reliable. Oil and gas companies normally demand high reliability and detail when it comes to the information we deliver.
With our digital tools, we can provide them 100% reliability in information.
The implementation of digitalisation on our maintenance operations will allow us to monitor, with real accuracy, data from all operational processes of the maintenance team. In addition, we will have the management and control of valuable operating indexes of our clients’ equipment, parks and installations.
For this, we are applying a wide range of digital tools of control like management and maintenance software and measurement, for instance of air quality in onshore installations and offshore platforms.

Tell us about the key features and aims of your new workshop in the ZEE.
The company has invested around USD 10 million in a 6,000-square-metre steel workshop in the ZEE focused on oil and gas. It is our biggest investment to date. Our broader aim is to start providing turnkey maintenance services for operators and oilfield services providers in their offshore and onshore projects.
In terms of manpower, our workforce is composed of experienced oil and gas workers like engineers, supervisors, welders, steel workers, pipe layers and other experts, with extensive know-how in these kinds of steel fabrication workshops. OperAngola is the owner and the only institutional and corporate operator for the site, and we will do a specific brand for the workshop called Opersteel.


What were the main business drivers behind the company’s recent acquisition of the workshop?
In November 2021, following the public tender process for the privatisation of some industrial units in the ZEE, OperAngola bought a workshop company working in the metal industry. This move gives us a big enough capacity to serve oil and gas companies.
This investment in the steel business comes along with the equipment and the machinery that we need to participate in projects that require capabilities in services such as piping, installation, steel fabrication and more.

What has been the evolution of OperAngola since its creation and what services do you provide?
OperAngola has been providing maintenance, construction, industrial painting and metal-mechanic works for corporate businesses since 2016. We became an oil and gas services provider in 2018, mainly working in the segments of maintenance, rehabilitation of petroleum and industrial installations, renewable energy, EPC services, industrial cleaning, repair and inspection. Our operations extend to offshore blocks and onshore facilities.
We want to position ourselves as a turnkey solutions provider by offering a holistic range of solutions to the client, from manpower to maintenance. Aside from the stripping and treatment of metal structures, we also perform electrical, HVAC, instrumentation, hydraulic and other types of maintenance. We provide metal-mechanic assembly of industrial equipment, such as piping and scaffolding.

How does the company approach HSE standards?
HSE standards are a pillar of our activities. The company continues to develop its staff organically in alignment with our HSE policies.
OperAngola is also certified by ISO 9001, 45001 and 14001 for quality, health, safety and environment. All of the maintenance that we do offshore requires our staff to have a well-developed know-how to maintain a high quality of service.
At the same time, people management is one of the biggest challenges that we have. We have more than 300 people working with us, and with all the sites and all the new operations, we need to keep these people safe. And if you have even a small problem offshore, operations normally stop and this creates a huge problem for our clients and for the production. This is why we are committed to keeping our accident rate close to zero and have a work environment that is very safe and organised.

How can the steel fabrication sector cement the growth of solar power generation projects?
Photovoltaic is another important bet for us. The support for all of these photovoltaic parks is based on steel structures. At the same time, they need to develop offices and housing for staff to live onsite. In these new sites, investors can see us as a reliable partner in Angola, especially in the project’s early stages.
We want to be involved in these projects. It’s a huge opportunity for OperAngola because we can provide the steel fabrication and also mix it with facility management.

What is OperAngola’s vision for regional expansion?
When an investor starts a business in Africa, they normally aim to create regional businesses. International expansion is very important for us. We have some African countries which right now are growing a lot, and we are targeting Nigeria and the DRC. We already have some operations for our partners in both countries. We are using all these connections and networking to expand the business.
Our 6,000-square-metre workshop will have the capacity to serve regional clients. We need to further develop our logistics landlines. The DRC is a good case, as the demand for steel fabrication is huge. We can use the Lobito line to send products to the DRC from our warehouse.

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