London, UK | – China Development Bank (CDB) has extended a $2 billion line of credit to state-owned Sonangol EP to support expansion projects in Angola’s oil and gas sector.
The financing agreement was signed on Dec. 12 in Beijing, China, Sonangol said.
In addition to allowing execution of other large projects in crude oil exploration, refining, and logistics, the 10-year loan agreement, which opens prospects for other long-term financing, also will fund in part construction of Sonangol’s planned 200,000 b/d Sonaref refinery in Lobito, Angola, the Angolan state-owned company said.
First announced in 2009, the Sonaref refinery is a strategic project intended to reduce Angola’s reliance on imported fuels by processing Angolan crude for the production of unleaded gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, kerosene, LPG, and small amounts of sulfur.
Late in 2013, Sonangol selected Standard Chartered Bank UK to provide financial consulting for construction of the $8 billion refinery, which at the time was due to be commissioned fully sometime in 2017-18.
While initial construction activities on the Lobito plant began in December 2012), construction of the refinery will begin in earnest in 2015, Sonangol said.
According to the most recent information available on Sonangol’s web site, the Sonaref refinery is to be built in two phases.
A first 120,000-b/d phase of 9 low-conversion units designed to process Angolan Girassol crude (30.1° gravity; 0.33 wt % sulfur) initially was scheduled to become operational in 2015, with the second 80,000-b/d phase of 11 remaining high-conversion units aimed at processing heavier and more acidic Angolan crudes to be installed a year later, Sonangol’s web site shows.