Congo seals deal with Chinese firm to build oil refinery in Pointe-Noire
The Congolese government and the Chinese company, Beijing Fortune Dingheng Investment, on Tuesday in Brazzaville, signed an agreement for the construction of a refinery in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Pointe-Noire.
When operational, the refinery will have a refining capacity of 2.5 million tons of oil per year, according to the Congolese public radio.
The agreement was signed by the Congolese Ministers of Hydrocarbons, Jean-Marc Thystere Tchicaya, Finance, Calixte Nganongo, and SEZ, Gilbert Mokoki, and the Chinese company’s representative, Sen Shao.
The refinery, which would commence operation by 2023, aims to meet the growing demand for finished petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel, liquefied petroleum gases, light fuel oils and kerosene.
The demands are expected not only from the Republic of Congo but also from the sub-region.
”Ultimately, the objective is to launch the petrochemical industry, which will further enhance the value of the SEZs and diversify the Congolese economy. Our company is in charge of providing the investment and construction of the refinery without financial guarantees from Congo,” Sen Shao said, adding that in the future, the refining capacity will increase according to the needs.
According to the Chinese, the project provides for the continuous technical and professional training of Congolese personnel, in order to enable them to reach the positions of managers, supervisors, engineers and technicians.
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According to the Congolese Minister of Hydrocarbons, the project aims to create added value by locally transforming Congo’s crude oil into finished products, and increasing the volumes of finished petroleum products, in addition to those of the Congolese refinery.
In addition to ending fuel shortages, Jean-Marc Thystere Tchicaya stressed that the refinery will create direct and indirect jobs and then increase the volume of oil products for export.
An environmental and social management plan will be put in place as soon as the convention comes into force, he reassured.
Given the importance of this project and the commitments of each party, the investment agreement will be submitted to the Congolese parliament for approval.
Congo already has a refinery, “La Congolaise de raffinerie”, with the main activity of refining crude oil. It ensures the country’s energy security by supplying about 70% of its needs in finished products. Its processing capacity is one million tons per year.