S. Korea seeks role in African energy development

SOUTH KOREA IS seeking to take part in various energy development projects in Africa in an effort to boost mutual economic growth and make better use of natural resources, the government has announced.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said a delegation led by Deputy Minister Kim Jung-gwan visited Angola and Ghana earlier in the month and discussed ways to expand cooperative tie-ups in liquefied natural gas (LNG), oil field development and oil refinery construction.

"Officials from both countries expressed a wish to forge a win-win partnership involving energy development, sharing of economic growth know-how and fueling business investments," the ministry said.

The ministry added that Angola and Ghana have untapped natural resources and have considerable growth potential. Angola is the third-largest oil producing country in Africa, while Ghana started oil production last year and aims to build up its industrial infrastructure.

A memorandum of understanding on energy cooperation was signed with Ghana with views being exchanged on allowing South Korea companies to take part in a new oil refinery and gas pipeline building projects being pursued by the West African nation, it said.

SK Energy Co. and state-run Korea Gas Corp. have expressed interest in the two projects.
In Angola, the delegation discussed the possible purchase of LNG from a refinery that is expected to go on-line in 2012. Resource-poor South Korea is one of the largest importers of the fossil fuel resource in the world and has sought to diversify its imports to better insulate it from sudden price fluctuations.

The southwest African nation also said that it will welcome South Korean companies taking part in oil exploration efforts off its coast.

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