Equatorial Guinea Entry to Portuguese Bloc Under Spotlight

Malabo — THE Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) is exploring the capacity of the oil and gas industry in Equatorial Guinea, its newest member.

This has been among the highlights of the Monitoring Mission of the Equatorial Guinea Adhesion Programme to the organisation, which concluded last week in the capital Malabo.

The adhesion programme is in line with the admission of Equatorial Guinea as a member state in 2014.

A delegation of the CPLP was on a mission to evaluate the developments in the Central African country's accession process to CPLP, which completes five years next July.

It is the first mission of such a scale carried out by the CPLP in Equatorial Guinea.

Headed by Ambassador José Luís Monteiro, from the Cape Verde, the delegation visited the facilities of the Marathon Plant, Ampco Methanol and Equatorial Guinea Liquefied Natural Gas (EG LNG).

The company manages the Punta Europa LNG Terminal on Bioko Island outside Malabo.

It is the hub for the country's prosperous oil industry.

Punta Europa, boasting a capacity of over 3,7 million tonnes per year, was completed in 2007.

The CPLP delegation explored the national capacity and the quality of the facilities in the area.

The discovery of large oil reserves in 1996 and subsequent exploitation have culminated in Equatorial Guinea becoming the third-largest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa, behind Nigeria and Angola.

CPLP's presence in the country coincides with an upcoming investment forum to open up EG Ronda 2019 licensing rounds for oil and gas and mining to international investors.

Also in line with a drive to promote investments into the industry, a delegation from Equatorial Guinea attended the recently-concluded meeting of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Paris, France.

The delegation was composed of Vice President of EITI in Equatorial Guinea, Priscilla Abono Ateba, local Social Society representative Moises Enguru and Permanent Secretary of EITI in Equatorial Guinea, Jacinto Owono Nguema.

"Equatorial Guinea remains largely untapped and underexplored," said Mickael Vogel, African Energy Chamber director of strategy.

A delegation from the CPLP earlier met the majority of the corresponding sector departments at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, to analyse the report presented to the monitoring commission on the execution of the Equatorial Guinea CPLP adhesion programmes.

Simeon Oyono Esono, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, expressed his country's commitment to this Portuguese bloc established in 1996.

According to government correspondence, the country's donation of US$2 million for the rebuilding of Mozambique after Cyclone Idai underlines this commitment by the government of President Teodoro Obiang.

CPLP is also made up of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, and São Tomé and Príncipe.

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