Angola Energy Transition
After the creation of the National Agency for Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels – ANPG, which became the new Angolan concessionaire, Sonangol definitively turned its focus to research and production, no longer having the role of decision maker. This transformation drove the company to act more like a player in the oil and gas market.
The reforms implemented from mid-2017 have resulted in SONANGOL’s divestment of several non-core assets, such as hotels, realty, finance, etc., shifting its focus on improving and increasing its presence in national and international oil production.
With its new Energy Transition strategy, SONANGOL is currently at the forefront of Angola’s energy transition, with active interests in the two newest solar plants being installed in Namibe and Huila provinces, with partners ENI (Italy) and Total (France), respectively. The national oil company (NOC) is also actively looking at other partnerships to diversify its energy sources. One of the identified partners was Gauff & Co. (Germany), which has been provided consulting for the NOC and identified hydrogen as a potential energy source. Although this is still in its very early stages, with key stakeholders, locations, and market opportunities yet to be identified, SONANGOL will surely play a big role in introducing this type of new energy into the country’s energy mix.
As the main Angolan company in the sector, Sonangol is following the ideology of a major global player in the sector and seeks to diversify its energy sources, making the transition from an oil and gas company to an energy company.
Subsequently, Sonangol announced that its Research and Development Center is working on a strategy to produce green hydrogen. Conceptual and engineering studies are currently being carried out to identify the location for installing a factory to produce that compound and its derivatives, which can be used for domestic consumption or for export. This project is in partnership with German companies Conjuncta GmbH and Gauff GmbH & Co. Engineering Kg.
Green hydrogen is one of the cleanest sources of energy and its production, through the electrolysis of water, must be ensured by renewable energy sources and Angola due to its geographical and hypsometric characteristics and abundance of water resources, has great potential in this area.
This green hydrogen project follows two other renewable energy projects in which Sonangol is collaborating with other major players in the oil and gas sector. The first energy transition project was a 50 MW photovoltaic project with Italian multinational ENI in Namibe province, and the second project, also a 35 MW photovoltaic project is in Huíla province, with French company Total and a local company, Greentech Angola.
With these measures and their focus on renewable energy, Sonangol contributes even more to the promising clean energy sector in Angola, which already had a high production of non-polluting energy, placing its energy mix by the end of 2021 at 68 percent hydropower, 31.3 percent other fossil fuels and 0.7 percent hybrid (solar/fossil fuel), but with the new contracts signed in solar energy, it will soon add more than 400 MW, of which 85 MW will be directly connected to Sonangol.
U.S companies interested are encouraged to contact Commercial Assistant, Mauro Fonseca, U.S. Commercial Service, Angola at Mauro.Fonseca@trade.gov.