STRATEGIC SECTORS AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Agriculture and Ranching
Agriculture represents 1.1% of GDP. Subsistence farming is the predominant occupation in Equatorial Guinea but meets only 30% of local needs. With thousands of square kilometres of undeveloped arable land and high domestic and regional demand, Equatorial Guinea possesses considerable opportunities for growth along the entire agriculture & livestock value chain.
The share of cash crops is decreasing, including coffee, timber and cocoa crops, which peaked at 859 tons in 2011 versus the 3,000 tons produced in 2007-08. The government has made efforts to increase production of these products to pre-independence levels. Other local agricultural products include rice, yams, cassava, bananas, and palm oil.
Recently the country has benefited from 9 million USD in aid as part of the Agricultural Productivity Program in West Africa (PPAA0), put in place under the CEDEAO to increase rice productivity. With this support, Equatorial Guinea is expecting to entirely produce its own rice supply, replacing the 300 million USD spent currently on Asian rice imports.
Equatorial Guinea is in the process of developing its fisheries industry and becoming the leading fisheries supplier in the CEMAC region and beyond.
Industrial fishing, including the availability of fishing equipment, has suffered from disorganization and saw its production drop from 270 tons in 2008 to less than 200 tons in 2010.
But with 300 km of coastline and roughly 400 km of EEZ & territorial waters (which includes 9/10th of the country’s entire land and sea territory, and is abundant in fish) as well as an abundance of commercially valuable marine species, Equatorial Guinea is ripe for investment in the fisheries industry.
Petrochemicals and Mining:
Equatorial Guinea is the top oil supplier for the CEMAC region and the third largest supplier for all of Africa. Oil production reached 340,450 barrels per day (bpd) in 2011, including 20,450 bpd of liquids. It has declined in recent years due to the maturity of six oilfields (Zafiro, Okoume, Alba, Ceiba, Jade and Serpentina). Proven reserves total 1.2 billion barrels, equivalent to about 10 years of production at current rates. Eight new oil exploration contracts have been signed recently, four onshore (including on Rio Muni mainland), among which three are likely to give rise to their first perforations by the end of 2014. Now, Equatorial Guinea is moving to develop its entire petrochemical value chain and is working with the private sector to create a highly developed and vertically integrated domestic industry.
Natural gas is developing as a serious alternative to declining oil production, provided the productivity of its exploitation can be improved. The production of methanol, butane, propane, LPG and LNG in particular has increased significantly, from 37,300 equivalent barrels per day (ebpj) in 2006 to 143,200 ebpj in 2009 ebpj. Gas should represent 50% of total hydrocarbons resources by 2016.
In keeping with soaring global demand, the Equatorial Guinean government intends to make the country a regional gas hub. In 2007, Equatorial Guinea built its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) train. After 8 years of development and construction, a second LNG train dedicated entirely to local gas resources will be operational in 2016. The goal is to build a system to collect natural gas from fields currently in operation (Zafiro, Alba and Alen as of 2013) as well as from future fields. This gas will be processed at Equatorial Guinea’s port Punta Europa.
Three major projects are underway: a new LNG plant that will process 3.4 million tons of LNG per year; the AMPCO plant which will produce 1 million tons of methanol per year; and an Alba plant of liquefied petroleum (1300 bpd of propane, 7,000 bpd of butane and 6,000 bpd of condensate).
In the last decade studies have shown evidence of significant gold, diamond, bauxite, tin, tungsten and coltan deposits throughout the country. Equatorial Guinea is now working to improve the business climate for mining companies and investors by developing comprehensive and streamlined regulation for its mining and mineral processing industry.