Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Anouncement - All Africa Energy Summit in Accra

Key Ministers to Address The All Africa Energy Summit in Accra
By Bernadette Chin
Press Release

NEW: Ghana Tourist Villas offers an unforgettable holiday and business experience in Accra.
Key Energy Ministers, senior industry executives and energy officials will gather at the All Africa Energy Summit 2009, to be held at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana from 7 - 8 December 2009.

Hon Dr Kwabena Donkor, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Republic of Ghana will officiate at the opening of the Summit on 7 December. Also addressing this summit are Hon Prof Ogunlade Davidson, Minister of Energy of Sierra Leone and Hon Dr Eugene Shannon, Minister of Energy, Mines & Land of Liberia.

The panel of distinguished speakers also include:
· E. Labode Akinosho, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director, Oando Exploration & Production Ltd, Oando Plc

· Galib Virani, Head of Aquisitions,Afren Plc

· Harriet Wereko-Brobby, General Manager, West Africa Gas Pipeline Company

· Angelina Mornah Domakyaareh, Director,Legal Services/Board Secretary, Volta River Authority

· Luis Paquete A Teixeira, Director General, National Petroleum Agency, Sao Tome-Principe

· Theo Sackey, Energy Finance Specialist, Africa Finance Corporation

· Alexandre Vial, Director,Enercap, France
· Frank Mugisha, Principal Geophysicist/Seismic, Petroleum Exploration & Production Department, Uganda

· and more

Focusing on new opportunities in the emerging Africa, this Summit will gather international business leaders and industry professionals to provide in-depth market knowledge and latest industry updates, plus discuss key developments in Africa's prospective energy sector.

With oil and gas reserves depleting in regions outside Africa, there is no lack of new energy projects being developed in the continent, such as the current interest in Jubileeand new discoveries off Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea-Conakry, Cote d'Ivoire and Sao Tome-Principe.

Discussion will also centre on the potential of Ghana as the hub for West Africa. Professional networking sessions will be held for delegates to forge meaningful partnerships and build significant business leads with investors, stakeholders, potential collaborators as well as the who's who of the energy, oil and gas industry.

This summit is organised by Magenta Global Pte Ltd, in collaboration with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and endorsed by the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Ghana. Summit supporters include the Association of Ghana Industries, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Summit Sponsors include Afren, Oando, Dewey & LeBouef and Vanco.

Summit registrations will be closing on 3 December.

26 November 2009

Contact Details:

Magenta Global Pte Ltd
CONTACT PERSON: Ms Bernadette Chin
TEL: +65 6391 2555
FAX: +65 6392 3592

Ghana Investment Promotion Centre
Contact Persons: Edem Seshie
Tel: +233 21 521238 to 242
Fax: +233 21 506205


Magenta Global is a premier independent business media company that provides pragmatic and relevant information to government and business executives and professionals worldwide.

The organization provides the opportunity to share thought-provoking insights, exchange ideas on the latest industry trends and technological developments with thought leaders and business peers information to government & business executives and professionals worldwide.

Source: Bernadette Chin

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Chinafrica (25) Watching for PRC Influence in Africa

Sunday, 08 Nov 2009
List of Chinese oil and mineral deals in Africa
Sunday, 08 Nov 2009
Reuters reported that China has become a major investor in African energy and mineral resources which it needs to feed its booming economy.

Here are some of the assets Chinese firms have bought or are trying to purchase and deals reached in Africa in recent years:

1. August 2009 -- State-owned oil firm China National Offshore Oil Corporation confirmed it was bidding for Kosmos Energy stakes in the Jubilee oilfield offshore Ghana, which could be worth between USD 3 billion to USD 5 billion.

2. July 2009 -- CNOOC and Sinopec Group, parent of Sinopec Corp agreed to purchase a stake in an oil block offshore Angola from Marathon Oil for USD 1.3 billion. Angolan state firm Sonangol later exercised a pre-emption right, blocking the Chinese purchase.

3. June 2009 -- Sinopec Group bought Swiss oil explorer Addax Petroleum Corp for USD 7.2 billion, gaining access to high-potential oil blocks in West Africa and Iraq.

4. June 2009 -- State-owned Nonferrous Metal Mining Corp pledges to invest USD 400 million in Zambia Luanshya Copper Mines after formally taking over running the mines.

5. April 2009 -- China granted Niger a USD 95 million preferential loan for the SOMINA uranium mining operation, a joint venture between China National Uranium Corporation and the Niger government. Their mine is due to come on line in 2010.

6. January 2009 -- China Union signed a USD 2.6 billion contract to develop Liberia Bong iron ore deposits, estimated at 300 million tonnes of low-grade ore. The first iron ore pellets are expected in mid 2010.

7. June 2008 -- Top Chinese oil and gas firm CNPC struck a USD 5 billion deal with Niger government to pump oil from the Agadem block within three years and lay a 2,000 kilometers pipeline to export it. CNPC also said it would build 20,000 barrels per day oil refinery, Niger's first.

8. June 2006 -- Sinopec Group acquired some offshore blocks in Angola for about USD 1 billion.

9. April 2006 -- CNOOC bought a stake in a Nigerian deepwater oil field for USD 2.7 billion.

10. July 2005 -- China and Nigeria signed an USD 800 million crude oil sale deal between Petrochina International and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to supply 30,000 barrels of crude oil per day to China.

11. December 2004 -- Sinopec and the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company agree to drill for oil in the Niger delta.

12. October 2004 -- Sinopec secured a 50% interest shared with state firm Sonangol in Angola's Block 18.

13. July 2004 -- Algeria grants three exploration blocks to China top two oil groups CNPC and Sinopec in a licensing round.

14. Jan to Feb 2004 -- Total Gabon signed a contract with China Sinopec to sell Gabonese crude oil to China.

15. Before 2004 -- CNPC had a 40% interest in Sudan 300,000 barrels per day Unity fields in the south. It also had a large share in the Melut Basin fields.

(Sourced from Reuters)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Liberia's Biggest Ever Mining Concession Agreement


Chinese mining firm to begin operations in Liberia soon
African Press Agency

APA-Monrovia (Liberia) The Chinese company, China Union, which earlier this year signed a US$2.5 billion mining concession agreement with the government of Liberia has assured the Liberian people that it would still go ahead with its operations in the country, despite the global financial crisis that has slowed down the company’s operations.

Presidential Press secretary Cyrus Badio told reporters Tuesday that China Union assured that it would begin full-scale operations shortly, now that there are positive indications that it is overcoming the negative effects of the global financial crisis.

Addressing reporters on the China Union and Arcelor Mittal Concession agreements, Badio admitted that the effect of the economic meltdown to some extent affected the company’s operations.

He however added the Chinese company has informed the Liberian government that it has begun to overcome the effects of the global financial meltdown.

Following the signing of the multi-billion dollar mineral agreement with the Liberian government, China Union began dragging its feet in executing the terms of the agreement, including delays in paying a US$45 million signature fee to the Liberian government.

Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Zhou Yuxiao admitted that the company was dragging its feet because it was adversely affected by the global financial crisis.



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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Chinafrica (24) Watching for PRC Influence in Africa

Story... PRC contemplating political action to protect assets...

[Photo: The bauxite factory of Guinea's largest mining firm, Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee (CBG), at Kamsar, a town north of the capital Conakry. Photo AFP]

Business interests force China to political action in Africa
Published: 3 November 2009 17:30 | Changed: 3 November 2009 17:35
It is becoming increasingly difficult for China to stay politically neutral in Africa as its economic interests grow.
By Pauline Bax and Mark Schenkel

As night falls over Conakry, the capital of Guinea, the street lights only come on in the neighbourhood of Manquepas (which translated means ‘no lack’). In the other neighbourhoods, children do their homework by the candlelight of a petroleum lamp. Night watchmen read the Koran in the light from the sign for a petrol station. Grocers light their shop fronts with a neon light fed by a battery.

But in future, say the Chinese, everything will be different. The whole capital of Guinea will have electricity. Taxi drivers will no longer have to take six passengers at once in their rickety Peugeots, the capital will have a metro system. There will be flood control dams, new government offices, a fleet of passenger aircraft. Guinea will finally become modern, or so the Chinese promise. In exchange for that, all it has to do is supply raw materials like bauxite, oil and iron ore to China.

China is saving the developing countries, according even to the military junta in power in Guinea. On 9 October the Guinean minister of mining, Mohamed Thiam, announced the junta is on the verge of signing a treaty with China. It involves an investment plan worth 7 billion US dollars – one of the largest raw materials deals in Africa.

Shortly before the news was announced, soldiers in the African country shot dead 157 demonstrators. Foreign criticism of this massacre and the threats of sanctions that followed put the military rulers under such pressure that the treaty was used in order to show the population that Guinea has no need for the West whatsoever.

But the situation in Guinea is precarious. Observers say that ethnic tensions between factions in the military could result in a war that will also have serious consequences for neighbouring countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia.

A more honest partner

The instability in Guinea shows that it is becoming increasingly difficult for China to maintain its traditional policy of political and diplomatic non-intervention in Africa, says Mohamed Jalloh on the telephone from Dakar, Senegal. He is an analyst there for the Brussels-based think-tank International Crisis Group. China has invested so much in Africa in the past years that it can no longer avoid taking a more active diplomatic role, says Jalloh. “Not because China is suddenly more concerned about human rights or democracy, but out of enlightened self-interest. China benefits from a minimum level of stability in Africa, in order to secure the raw materials required for its rapidly growing economy.”

The Chinese presence in Africa extends beyond the recent hunt for raw materials. In the1960s the communist regime presented itself as a leader of the developing countries from the idea that Africa and China were similar and had the same opponents. Beijing extended no-interest loans and provided economic aid to about twenty African countries, including Guinea. Unlike the West, it refrained from direct political interference however.

Many Africans feel that China is a more honest partner than the rich countries, which they feel are simply meddlesome. “I think it would be a good thing if African countries could do business with China on the basis of equality," says Baffour Ankomah, editor-in-chief of the weekly New African. “After years of Western involvement, Africa is now like a woman being pursued by two suitors. It can now itself choose which of the two men makes her happiest.”

But according to Western governments and human rights organisations, China can no longer stand aloof from corruption, election fraud and repression in those African countries where it has its foot in the door. The US Department of State said in a reaction to the negotiations between China and Guinea it was concerned. “We think it is important to be alert to human rights in countries with which you do business,” said a spokesperson.

Chinese UN peace-keepers in Sudan

At the same time China is realising that stability is important for securing its economic interests. “Everything seems to indicate that China is less ready to take risks,” wrote analyst Philippe de Pontet in the weekly African Business. “Chinese companies have not yet withdrawn from unstable countries, but they have clearly taken a more reticent attitude.”

The unrest in Guinea also threatens a neighbouring country like Liberia – where China invested 2.6 billion dollars this year in iron ore mines, the largest foreign investment in Liberia’s history.

The most prominent change to China’s Africa policy of the past years took place in Sudan. For years human rights activists have condemned Beijing for supplying arms to the regime in Khartoum, which is held responsible for the genocide in Darfur. Sudan supplies oil to China. In 2007, Beijing voted in favour of a peace-keeping mission in Darfur led by the United Nations and the African Union, a move that surprised many. China even sent UN peace-keepers. The new approach reportedly was entirely due to the Olympic Games in Beijing. China was in danger of reputation damage when celebrities like American actress Mia Farrow dubbed the games the ‘Genocide Olympics’.

Critics see the sending of peace-keepers as a small sacrifice in order to be able to continue China’s policy in Sudan. Beijing still supports African countries in their opposition to the international arrest warrant for Sudanese president Bashir. But according to Jalloh of the Crisis Group, the Sudan case shows that China more often feels compelled to take on responsibility. “It is a start.”

Observers take a similar view of China’s military involvement elsewhere in Africa. Beijing sends an estimated sixteen hundred peace-keepers – more than four other permanent members of the UN Security Council. Only a few dozen US peace-keepers operate throughout Africa. Good for China’s reputation and an exercise for the People’s Liberation Army, or good for stability in Africa? Both, perhaps. Just like the three Chinese frigates that fight piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Behind the scenes

These days Chinese ambassadors from Liberia to South Africa encourage their fellow countrymen to learn the local language, in order to prevent tensions with local workers. In Zambia local mine workers have already rebelled against the tough Chinese working conditions and against being elbowed out by Chinese labourers. In an interview with the Financial Times last year the ambassador to South Africa tried to soften the impression that China is keeping Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe in power. “We are not happy with what is happening in Zimbabwe,” said Zhong Jianhua. He felt that the Western condemnation of Mugabe only had an "adverse" effect however.

Critics say this is all for show. Behind the scenes the negotiations on economic cooperation are simply going ahead.

In Guinea the Chinese government explicitly denied involvement in the controversial raw materials deal. Huo Zhengde, ambassador in Conakry, told French radio station RFI a week and a half ago that Beijing does not play a role “in any way whatsoever.” According to the magazine Africa Confidential, there was concern when Guinea suddenly publicly announced the negotiations that had been secret until then. China feared a diplomatic situation like that which arose earlier concerning Sudan, the magazine writes.

Ambassador Zhengde stressed that the talks with the junta are being held by the China Investment Fund (CIF) from Hong Kong – a private company. This is true on paper, but in practice it emerges that the CIF is intertwined with the Chinese government in many aspects. China often uses these kinds of constructions, whereby Beijing can deny that it is involved in controversial deals but in fact remains in control.

Jalloh wonders how long China can maintain this aloof approach. “If Guinea collapses, China will once again have to participate in a UN mission to secure its investments in the country.” Ankomah of the New African finds the Western concern about China’s political indifference hypocritical. Moreover he hopes that China will be less neutral than it seems. “Beijing now has interests in Guinea. Who knows, behind the scenes China might even persuade the junta to reform.”


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Copenhagen Countdown - 1 Month

Carbon Sequestration

We repeat our concern: