The Africa Oil and Power Forum, held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 9 to 11 October, was an opportunity for the Société africaine de raffinage (Sar) to sign a major contract to upgrade its facilities and increase its capacity. In a context where Senegal will produce its first barrel of oil and deliver its first gas in two to three years, Sar, which has existed since 1962, intends to play a major role in the hydrocarbon sector. To this end, in the presence of the Senegalese Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Mouhamadou Makhtar Cissé, it has signed a contract with the company TechnipFMC, which has extensive experience and expertise in refining. The contract is part of the strategy of the first of the refineries installed in West Africa, taking into account the status of hydrocarbon producing country that Senegal will have in a short time.
The Sar modernisation project has two major objectives: on the one hand, the adaptation of Sar’s installations and equipment to be able to process crude oil from the Senegalese coast. Secondly, to reduce imports of refined petroleum products. Through the upgrading of its refinery, Sar intends to offer the Senegalese and sub-regional market adequate petroleum products while reducing the costly imports of these products on the Senegalese economy.
“The contract is part of a project to modernise the refinery, Sar 2.0, which will enable it to play a leading role in the exploitation of exclusively Senegalese resources, notably through an increase in production to 3.5 million metric tons per year by 2025,” said a Sar press release published after the contract with TechnipFMC was signed.
An awareness of the need for a refinery of international standards to absorb large volumes thus justifies Sar’s strategy to modernise its equipment and facilities. With current production at around 1.2 to 1.3 million tonnes per year, the modernisation programme will initially bring production to 1.6 to 1.8 million tonnes per year. Volumes will follow as more Senegalese crude is extracted from the seabed.
The Director General of Sar, Mr Serigne Mboup, in a panel discussion on the future of refining and trade in hydrocarbons in Africa at the Africa Oil and Power Forum, argued that the continent needs a standardisation of products supplied to bring them up to standard, the existence of a strong sub-regional market and the harmonisation of the legal framework. The future of the Sar is to be seen under this prism with a consistent supply of domestic petroleum products, a diversification of the uses of natural gas to reach agriculture among other sectors, a sustainable promotion of petrochemicals and a willingness to have market shares in the West African sub-region and internationally.
At the signing of the contract, Sar and TechnipFMC undertook to implement several actions aimed at the communities in the areas of health, education and the promotion of women, considering that the populations should be involved as much as possible in the projects that will have an impact on improving their daily lives.
Source : Or Noir Africa