President Yoweri Museveni, who is in Equatorial Guinea for a four-day state visit, spent Saturday touring the port of Malabo and the oil and gas complex.
Conducted around by host President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President Museveni first toured the Port of Malabo, where he observed operations largely involving passenger and cargo ships.
Accompanied by Energy Minister Irene Muloni and the ministry’s newly-named acting Permanent Secretary Robert Kasande, among other government officials, President Museveni then moved to the Punta Europa project that is involved in production of Liquefied Natural Gas and thermal electricity generation.
The first stop at this project was at the compressor gas manufacturing plant. Here, Presidents Museveni and Mbasogo were taken through the operations of the plant that is making gas compressors which will soon be used to power public service buses, discarding the use of diesel engines.
With the project piloting already a success, the initiative, which will be launched soon, will see the buses reduce their fuel intake by 50%.
Next was an hour-long tour of the Atlantic Methanol Production Company. The methanol plant, with a capacity of producing one million tonnes a year, is run jointly by the Equatorial Guinea government and two other companies; Noble and Marathon Oil.
Equatorial Guinea exports the product to Europe and the East Coast of the USA.
The plant desalinates sea water and ensures that it is good for both the domestic and industrial consumption.
The two principals observed operations at the jetty that involve the pumping of methanol into the ships for the export market.
The facility, which employs 400 people (80% of them locals), generates its own thermal electricity that powers the machines and runs other operations.
The gas is transported from the off shore wells by pipelines covering a distance of 45 kilometers. The LNG is frozen to a temperature of -600’ Celsius before it is transported for export.
All the waste from the production line is processed and treated before being pushed back into the sea. The giant project operates its internal fire station that is designed to address fire hazards.
President Museveni concluded his tour of the Equatorial Guinea capital by visiting the lush Malabo National Leisure Park. Shortly after, in company of his host President Obiang, he left for Bata City on the mainland where he will tour the main maritime walkway and sea port before heading to another city of Djibloho.
In Djibloho, President Museveni is expected to visit the Afro-American University, look at the city’s social housing scheme and also tour the High Institute of Telecommunications and New Technologies.
On Friday evening, shortly after President Museveni’s arrival, he was hosted to a state dinner, where President Obiang bestowed on him the Great Collar of Independence Award, the highest honour Equatorial Guinea can give a guest.
President Museveni, who said he was humbled by the unexpected award, was recognized by the people of Equatorial Guinea for his outstanding contribution to the African cause.
President Museveni’s visit to Equatorial Guinea comes four months after Mr Obiang visited Uganda, and the two countries signed bilateral agreements to cover the fields of cultural, technological and foreign affairs cooperation.