AFRICA Finance Corporation (AFC), the leading infrastructure solutions provider in Africa, says it has financed Aker Energy A.S., a subsidiary of Aker ASA, one of the highest-quality-rated companies in the Norwegian market and a leader in oil, gas and industrials.
AFC’s support is through investing in $100 million of convertible bond notes with an intention to participate in follow on fund raising activities. The funds will be used by Aker Energy to finance the development of the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points block, a block offshore Ghana containing multiple oil fields.
The block is owned by joint venture partners, including Aker Energy (50 percent), Lukoil (38 percent), Fueltrade (2 percent) and a 10 percent carry for the state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). The Pecan field, which is the most appraised in the WTCTP block and the field to be developed in the first phase, is an oil field estimated to contain reserves of about 334 million barrels of oil equivalent.
This investment is aligned with AFC’s overall natural resources strategy, which entails building a portfolio of value added assets across the Energy value chain. By taking an early equity financier role in operational or near-operational upstream assets, AFC can enhance the revenue potential of African states to generate revenue required for investment in infrastructure and social services for its growing populations.
This investment also marks the beginning of AFC and Aker’s mutually beneficial relationship in the exploration and production sector across the African continent; AFC will offer support to Aker, open new opportunities, and mitigate potential geopolitical risks. Aker, with its proven track record of delivering complex deep water projects on time and budget, and a network of affiliates, such as Aker Solutions, a leading subsea equipment and services provider, is an ideal partner for AFC, as it seeks to broaden its partnerships with developers within the natural resources sector.
Ghana, which became an AFC sovereign shareholder in 2018, having acceded to membership in 2011, will benefit from this project through increased revenue and government royalty and taxation income. Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points field is one of the Ghana’s principal hydrocarbon assets and is expected to contribute to Ghana’s near term target of an annual production volume of 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Samaila Zubairu, President & CEO of AFC, commented on the announcement: ‘This is an exciting milestone for Africa Finance Corporation – we have partnered with the subsidiary of one of the most highly respected international oil, gas and industrials companies to support its first project in the African market as an operator. This is an opportunity for AFC to invest alongside a technically and financially strong sponsor that requires project development expertise and public sector advice in Africa, both of which AFC is ideally placed to offer.’
Jan Arve Haugan, CEO of Aker Energy, added: ‘We value AFC’s vote of confidence by collaborating with Aker Energy and the commitment to further strengthening this partnership going forward. We believe AFC will be a valuable partner to help Aker Energy navigate the opportunities and challenges that lies ahead of us.’