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African downstream oil industry gains confidence to make new investments

Players across the sector and the continent have now had the confidence to make the necessary investments to improve the downstream landscape, says Joël Dervain, the African Refiners and Distributors (ARA) Executive Secretary, speaking ahead of the African Continent’s biggest downstream oil industry conference in Cape Town from March 25 to 28 this year.

He said there was a determination to “supply clean fuels, reduce product imports, improve the logistic infrastructure, better our environmental performance and to develop our greatest asset – human capital, particularly of women and our young people.”

“This last year has seen some exciting projects coming to fruition across Africa – in refineries in Egypt and Cameroon; on-going investments in Nigeria (including LPG storage) and Algeria; as well as new ones announced – in Uganda, Algeria, Angola and South Africa,” he said.

Hilaire Kaboré, President of the Association, and Managing Director of the Burkina Faso national oil company, Sonabhy, added: “Last year at our Annual General Meeting, we followed up on the review of our policies on clean air, clean fuels and storage and distribution to determine the way forward for the African downstream oil industry. It is satisfying one year on, to come back to Cape Town and hear of the solutions we discussed a year ago, being in place. But there is still much more to do!”

The African Refiners & Distributors Association (ARA) – the voice of the African downstream oil sector – holds its 14th annual meeting, ARA WEEK, at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town from March 25-28.

The theme of the conference this year is “Strengthening Investment in the African downstream” focusing on petroleum refining, storage and distribution, port operations, supply chain efficiency, human capital, safety, security and the environment.

The ARA was formed in 2006 in order to provide a pan-African voice for the African oil supply, refining and distribution industry.

The ARA represents not only refiners but also many product importers, storage companies, marketers, and government regulators.