Ubifrance, the French agency for International Business Development to a trade pavilion and business meetings at this year’s Petro.t.ex Africa Exhibition, which runs from 7 to 9 June at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Gauteng.
“Petro.t.ex Africa provides the perfect platform for French companies to establish relationships with potential clients and partners,” says Arnaud Zerkovitz, Senior Trade Adviser for Ubifrance. “It is important for us to get involved with other companies to develop markets, expand distribution channels and implement skills transfers, especially in the refining and petroleum industries.”
“The French pavilion will represent numerous French companies from the mainstream and secondary petroleum industries,” explains Zerkovitz. “One of the main attractions at the show will be pre-booked business meetings hosted by Ubifrance focusing on the South African oil and gas market and the specifications of the country with regard to Black Economic Empowerment.”
France is a leading stakeholder in Africa’s oil sector. Total, the fourth largest private oil company in the world, is currently involved in a number of projects in Africa. These include Cameroon’s Kribi Gas Station Development project valued at $345mn, and a $30mn upgrade of an existing oil refinery. Total is also a member of GEP, the French Oil and Gas Suppliers Council, which represents 180 suppliers of equipment and services around the world.
With oil consumption on the rise and expected to reach 87mn barrels per day in 2011, it is vital for African countries to explore all areas of development with foreign counterparts,” says Mark Burridge of Fair Consultants, organisers of Petro.t.ex Africa. “According to the Oil and Gas Field Machinery 2011-2021 Report, global spending on oil and gas machinery is expected to reach $120bn this year. Large amounts of money are being pumped into Africa’s oil sector, and Petro.t.ex Africa will be a key vehicle for stimulating these global partnerships.”
Various bilateral projects are currently underway between France and other African countries. These include a recently announced $24mn project in Ethiopia to build a new petroleum depot, and a proposed US$20-billion investment in the Nigerian oil and gas sector. According to Ubifrance, South African petroleum resins, polyterpenes and polysulphides exports amounted to $509,000 in 2009, which is two-and-a-half times more than in 2008. Imports from France to South Africa for tubes and pipes used for gas pipelines amounted up to $16,338,000 in 2009 – a growth of 600 per cent compared to 2008.
Technip, another GEP member, is involved in the refurbishment of a refinery in Algiers at an estimated cost of $908mn. The company has also been awarded a water injection umbilical contract in Angola scheduled for completion in 2013. Last year Technip was awarded a contract for phase 1 construction of a Natural Gas Transportation and Processing Project in Ghana. The contract covers the engineering, welding and installation of a 14km rigid steel flow line, as well as the engineering, fabrication and installation of one Pipeline End Termination (PLET).
“French oil industry companies contribute to the development of African energy sources and we are delighted to have them on board”, says Burridge. “With World Energy Outlook 2010 predicting that the world’s energy requirement will grow 36 per cent by 2035, opportunities for collaboration abound.”
Topics under the spotlight at Ubifrance’s meetings include companies’ Black Economic Empowerment Status, as well as business opportunities in Africa. According to Zerkovitz, similar initiatives have been conducted in other sectors, and have been a huge success in terms of facilitating networking prospects. “My job is to make people shake hands,” he says. “It’s all about networking and forming mutual partnerships. We are not here just to sell a product. We want to be involved in setting up new companies. We want to look for partners and also be partners to others.”
Petro.t.ex Africa 2011 is an exhibition for suppliers to oil refineries, petrochemical plants, oil and gas installations and pipelines, and focuses on the technological developments and service aspects of the industry. Petro.t.ex Africa will cover numerous aspects of the industry including:
q Technology, plant and equipment for gas-to-liquids (GTL);
q Liquefied natural gas (LNG);
q Liquid petroleum gas (LPG);
q Petroleum and petrochemical;
q Transport; and,
q Storage facilities.
The expo runs alongside WaterTec Africa 2011 and Pumps, Valves and Pipes Africa 2011 (PVPA 2011). WaterTec Africa 2011 is an international water technology exhibition and conference. PVPA 2011 is the seventh international trade fair for suppliers to the following industries: agriculture and horticulture, beverage, brewing, dairy, food, mining, industrial and civil engineering, manufacturing, national and local government, petrochemicals, pulp and paper and water utilities.