The future of Angola’s petrochemical manufacturing industrySeptember 23, 2022
Zenaida Martins, ChampionX Químicos' local content manager for Angola, talks to The Energy Year about new local content regulations and how they are focused on developing and building technologies that will help customers achieve a lower-carbon future. ChampionX is a global leader in chemical solutions and services that provide chemistry, technology, engineering support, and onsite expertise to improve outcomes for upstream and midstream oil and gas operations.
How competitive is Angola’s manufacturing industry for chemicals that support oil and gas operations?
Angola’s petrochemical manufacturing capabilities are still growing, and supply is limited by the availability of solvents in the local market. While the production capacity in Angola may be declining, ChampionX Químicos continues to see demand for our services, particularly for our chemical technologies, which help our customers deliver more efficient and enhanced oil recovery. Due to the new local content regulations, we are starting to see other companies moving quickly to become more localised when they have typically had a smaller local footprint.
What are ChampionX Químicos’ chemical manufacturing and blending capabilities in Angola?
We have localised storage, filtration and decanting capabilities, and, uniquely, we are able to blend our products in Angola. Because of our local capabilities, we’re able to bring in concentrated products that are then blended in-country. This practice is both more energy and economically efficient, as we are transporting fewer large volumes around the world for use in Angola.
We remain committed to being a key player in the Angolan oilfield services sector by providing local equipment, services and skilled personnel to establish a strong and reliable foothold in the country.
How is the company adapting to the new local content regulations?
We are well-placed to adapt to the new regulations. In the past 15 years, ChampionX Químicos has invested tens of millions of dollars (USD) in local infrastructure, resulting in 44% of products being blended or filtered in-country. We have also upskilled our local workers, delivering ongoing, targeted training programmes to support roles across sales, logistics, SHEQ, HR, finance and IT functions.
In 2004, when the first Angolan initiative for local content was launched, we entered into a joint venture with a local company to form our Angolan entity with 51% local ownership. Since then, ChampionX Químicos has been committed to providing our services with local manpower. Today, we have a fully Angolanised management team and have increased our workforce from 87% Angolan in 2010 to 93% in 2022. In addition, our total annual spending with local suppliers increased from 73% in 2010 to 98% in 2022.
How is your manufacturing capacity distributed?
We operate from three logistical bases in Angola – Viana in Luanda province, Kwanda in Soyo province and Malembo in Cabinda province. We have manufacturing plants in two of these locations, and our bases in Luanda and Cabinda were built from scratch with all the safety features necessary for chemical blending and handling.
ChampionX Químicos has been manufacturing locally for over 18 years, which helps decongest the ports, increase local purchase of goods and services, and leads to less importing of large volumes of materials.
How does your company support local customers?
We are focused on working alongside our customers to understand their challenges so we can align our capabilities, expertise and technologies to support them in the most effective, safe and valuable way. We are a company local to Angola, but we are also supported by a global network of some of the most knowledgeable technical experts in the industry.
ChampionX Químicos provides full chemical management services for operators, which means we provide the chemistry and technical personnel to expertly monitor and apply our solutions. We also run offshore laboratories for other operators with the support of our local, Angolan workforce, and have recently begun to provide digital components and equipment to some customers, which helps make data and tracking information more accessible.
What are your plans for increasing environmental sustainability?
Operators in Angola want suppliers with real initiatives that help them increase sustainability. At ChampionX Químicos, we believe our most impactful contribution is through our technologies, which are intended to also help customers reduce their carbon footprint, water use and power consumption. We also work to support environmental compliance and the safe, efficient, and cost-effective production of oil and gas.
Locally, we are always seeking to improve our sustainable practices. One example is our focus on developing formulations that include solvents available in Angola, which would mean fewer shipments from the United States or Europe. Other projects we are working on include recycling single-use chemical tanks and sourcing alternative energy for our blending plants.
What are the main goals for ChampionX Químicos in the coming years?
We want to continue meeting Angola’s needs for oilfield chemistry by becoming even more localised and reducing our dependence on external resources. We plan to do this by continuing to transfer knowledge to our national workforce and manufacturing more products locally. The effort is worth it, as these practices will create more opportunities for skilled employment and will support the local supply of goods and services.