Wednesday, 13 March 2013 13:46
Energy is the heartbeat of Africa today. The continent’s natural resources, including oil and gas, are driving growth in many of its nations and attracting foreign investment from others seeking fuel to drive their own development.
Increasing global demand and decreasing oil & gas production in traditional regions like the Middle East has prompted a rise in exploration in Africa. Sub-Saharan nations in particular have witnessed a rise in exploration, extraction and production. And when such resources are tapped, there’s demand for support services to keep the energy lines flowing smoothly.
In September 2011, the GAC Group set up its Strategic Oil & Gas Africa Team (SOGAT) in response to increasing demand for specialised shipping, logistics and marine solutions for the continent’s energy sector. Composed of GAC country and company managers from throughout sub-Saharan Africa, the team sharpens the Group’s focus on the needs of the region’s energy industry.
GAC’s logistics team has built a strong reputation for dealing with Angola’s often complex and challenging customs procedures. The company also provides shipping and logistics support for operations in the neighbouring Republic of Congo.
Michael Sturesson, General Manager of GAC Shipping and Logistics Angola, says: “By having a dedicated team dealing directly with the Ministry of Commerce, we can reduce the time our customers have to allow for formalities – a huge benefit for our seismic customers who cannot afford any delays for their highly sophisticated fleets”.
Cape Town is a popular repair and maintenance hub for sub-Saharan Africa’s oil and gas industries. GAC’s
twin South African operations – GAC Shipping SA and GAC Laser – work in tandem to provide a turnkey service including ship agency, husbandry support, procurement, clearing and forwarding and warehousing and distribution both in Cape Town and throughout the country.
“Our record in serving FPSOs, EPCs and drilling companies have made us the expert service provider for the energy sector,” says GAC Shipping MD David Hitchman.
His GAC Laser counterpart, CEO Simon Hayes, says support for the oil & gas industry extends beyond South Africa to neighbouring countries, particularly for new developments emerging in Mozambique and the rest of East Africa.
In Africa’s largest oil producing country, GAC has long been involved with the industry, combining local know-how and its network of offices with a global outlook to serve oil majors operating in the resource-rich Niger Delta and Nigeria’s offshore waters. Managing Director Neale Proctor says that in addition to a comprehensive range of shipping, logistics and marine services, GAC Nigeria also has a manning division providing qualified and experienced Nigerian marine crew for the offshore industry in Nigeria.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” he says. “In 2011, we handled more than 10,000 crew movements in Nigeria and safely delivered more than 14,500 tonnes of inbound project cargoes.”
Gerrit Laubscher has been appointed as SOGAT’s Business Development Manager for the region. It’s a sector he knows well, thanks to valuable operational experience gained with GAC Angola.
“Through GAC’s global network of facilities in key oil and gas locations like Houston, Aberdeen, Rotterdam, Dubai and Singapore, we can provide our customers with end-to-end solutions,” he says. “This allows them to focus their energy and resources on what they are good at, in the knowledge that support services are in safe hands.”
As featured in the 'GAC World' magazine Issue No. 04 of 2012 and reproduced with the kind permission of GAC.