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Namibia: Building an Effective Local Content Policy and Opportunities Ahead of First Production

Local content will be one of the central pillars of the upcomingNamibia International Energy Conference(NIEC) (https://apo-opa.co/3wlRmF1) 2024– taking place in Windhoek on April 23-25 – which unites Namibian stakeholders with international investors and creates a platform for local companies to showcase services and attract investment. Leveraging innovative strategies and a high-caliber network to unlock value within Namibia's extractive sectors, NIEC 2024 will feature a dedicated panel under the theme,Promoting Local Content: Maximizing Opportunities in the Energy Value Chain.

Namibia's Ministry of Mines and Energy has placed local content at the heart of the country's oil and gas agenda and is currently formulating a local content policy (LCP) to ensure the participation and inclusion of Namibians ahead of future production. A draft policy was published by the Ministry last November, while a cumulative process to develop a comprehensive policy for the upstream petroleum industry has been initiated with stakeholders within the sector. Meanwhile, Namibia's Green Hydrogen and Derivatives Strategy Report – published in November 2022 – showcases the potential of the country's emerging green hydrogen industry to create up to 80,000 jobs, while contributing up to $6 billion to GDP.

Energy Capital & Power is a strategic partner of the Namibia International Energy Conference (NIEC) – taking place in Windhoek on April 23-25, 2024. The 6thannual conference unites industry leaders, business executives and policymakers to engage in dialogue, exchange ideas, create new partnerships and identify strategies to foster a prosperous energy industry in Namibia and beyond. For more information, please visithttps://www.NIEConference.com/.

Panelists include Maggy Shino, Petroleum Commissioner of Namibia's Ministry of Mines and Energy; Nillian Mulemi, CEO of the Petroleum Training and Education Fund; Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo, African Energy Chamber Advisory Board Member and former CEO of PetroSA; Anabela Marcos, General Manager of SONILS – Sonangol Integrated Logistics Services; and Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, former Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

Local Content Development on the Back of Major Discoveries

A series of commercial discoveries in the offshore Orange Basin has positioned Namibia as one of the most sought-after exploration markets globally. Last month, French supermajor TotalEnergies intersected hydrocarbon-bearing intervals at its Mangetti-1X exploration well, while Portuguese energy company Galp announced two consecutive oil discoveries at the Mapone complex in the first months of this year. This follows four commercial discoveries by supermajor Shell in 2022 and 2023, as well as the Venus-1X discovery by TotalEnergies in 2022.

These discoveries have the potential to create thousands of jobs and contribute billions to the country's GDP, with some estimating that Namibia's economy could double by 2040. As a result, regulatory bodies, such as the Namibian Competition Commission, are advocating for mandatory investment in local content development as a condition for license awards and acquisition approvals. Effective LCPs serve as a key catalyst for growing the role of national companies and service providers across the sector, with nascent energy sectors like Namibia's standing to gain valuable insight from existing African producers.

Namibia is also prioritizing local capacity building ahead of first production, with the soon-to-be-launched Namibia Offshore Training Center offering comprehensive training in exploration, petroleum engineering and geoscience and representing the first facility of its kind in the country. Meanwhile, a cooperation agreement signed between national oil company NAMCOR and QatarEnergy in March 2022 provides a framework for the training and development of NAMCOR employees in industry skills.

As Namibia continues to foster partnerships and promote capacity building programs, NIEC 2024 serves as a valuable platform to share best practices when it comes to local content development, as Namibia works to establish its own LCP.

"Having worked in our country's energy sector for years, local content is important for Namibia and for the in-country value creation that will give our young people and entrepreneurs jobs, business opportunities and much-needed capacity building. The government's pragmatic and common sense approach works for both citizens and industry, which continues to create a win-win platform," says Selma Shimutwikeni, CEO of RichAfrica Consultancy, organizers of NIEC 2024.

"The active participation and development of Namibian labor and suppliers before first oil is key. The benefits coming from the huge capital expenditures in appraisal and development activities on labor, goods and services will benefit Namibia's industry, economy and wider society, and this panel speaks to that interplay."

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Energy Capital & Power.
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