Integrated logistics for Angola’s challenging marketJune 21, 2022
Fred Silva, group administrator of Navilog, talks to The Energy Year about the current positive economic environment in Angola, opportunities for small local businesses and the group’s involvement in the Barra do Dande oil terminal project. Navilog is a provider of integrated logistics and freight services.
How has Angola’s oil and gas sector reacted to the pandemic’s aftermath and prices going above USD 100 per barrel?
It is my perspective that there is a need for growth in the sector. During the pandemic, Sonangol and the ANPG [National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency] understood that the upstream sector slowed down and companies stopped exploring, drilling wells and doing surveys. The entire energy value chain lagged in terms of the new projects and infrastructure that are essential for the country. Since 2021, we have seen the government respond positively with bidding rounds, and operators are investing in large projects again.
How can small local companies seize these opportunities in order to grow and diversify their businesses?
We need to adapt to market trends, knowing that many companies left during the pandemic, which created a gap in various areas within the sector. This has provided an opportunity for small companies to evaluate these gaps and seize them. An example of this would be for small and local companies to obtain international certifications that will permit them to work within the oil and gas sector on a global scale, allowing them to have a broader reach in the market.
What will be the impact of the Barra do Dande oil terminal, and how have international dynamics affected its development?
The Barra do Dande terminal is a project that, in its first phase, will include 16 tanks with a combined storage capacity of 582,000 cubic metres of petroleum derivatives, including diesel, gasoline and LPG reserved for the domestic market.
The terminal brings with it employment opportunities, in and out of the sector. This could include the creation of new businesses such as restaurants, hospitality and accommodation – overall, the terminal will create an optimistic environment for those directly and indirectly involved in the project, in and around the area.
It is also an advantage in the sense that operations will be decentralised, with less focus on Luanda, which is highly congested.
The current political climate in Europe and subsequent economic repercussions brings with it an increase in international demand for gas, opening the door for Angola to be a viable and valuable solution to the world.
For this project, Navilog will be providing marine and electro-mechanic equipment.
What can allow local companies to participate in large-scale developments such as Barra do Dande?
As I mentioned previously, the right systems and international certifications are a must. Navilog is fully compliant and certified, which, along with our understanding of the Angolan market and regulations and standards, afforded us the opportunity to participate in this inspiring and relevant project. I believe it will be a game changer for Navilog and others. It is momentous for us to have reached this pinnacle point – it has been a long and arduous journey, but well worthwhile!
How important are international partnerships for growing in this market?
An international partner is important for support, resources, training and the sharing of knowledge.
Our international partner is Sea Titan Group Limited. They specialise in freight brokerage, project management and shipping and equipment projects. Sea Titan and Navilog share the same vision and perspectives, which has developed into a fruitful partnership. They are a well-established company, with whom it is a pleasure to work.
What are the main challenges in finding staff at the moment?
It is a challenge to find qualified staff with the specific skillsets required for this project. Despite the fact that Navilog has a good manpower database, we face the same challenges as anyone else. It is our objective to train and give opportunities to Angolans, first and foremost.
What are Navilog’s future plans regarding transport and logistics?
Our aim is to continue growing, in and out of the oil and gas sector, by remaining forward-focused and finding efficient solutions for logistics and cargo transfer within Angolan territory. We also envision Navilog venturing into other sectors, such as supply chain food distribution.
Despite the difficulties that we encounter within the market, we attempt to keep an open and optimistic mind, adapting and looking for opportunities in order to be part of the solution. We are always ready for new challenges.