Founded in 1999 in Cameroon by Societe Nationale des Hydrocarbons (SNH) and private investors, Tradex specializes in the trade, bunkering and retailing of crude oil and petroleum by-products in the sub-region of Central Africa. Initially, a trader, Tradex has since diversified into operating its own network of service stations and launching its own brand of clean, domestic gas. Tradex currently has 90 filling stations where Tradex gas and lubricants are sold.
“Tradex was created following a plan that was aimed at supplying refined oil products in the sub-region of central Africa. This country is a hidden gem, and as the government opens its doors to the world, we can expect growth and improvement for the country, at the eyes of the whole world,” says Diosdado Mba Esono Aboha, an Equatorial Guinea Representative, Tradex.
In 2015, Tradex launched in Equatorial Guinea at the Puerto Franco of Luba with the objective of supplying refined oil products to companies performing deepwater exploration projects in Equatorial Guinea. Under its partnership agreement with Luba Oil Terminal Equatorial Guinea (LOTEG), Tradex stores its products in LOTEG’s facilities at the Luba Freeport and exclusively supplies ships that receive fuel at this point. Tradex currently supplies hydrocarbons to platforms that are used for exploration and exploitation of the wells along the country’s coastline — with Mobil as their biggest client in terms of volume of refined products acquired — as well as to tanks, fishing trawlers and other ships deployed over the Gulf of Guinea.
After three years of operating in Equatorial Guinea, Tradex obtained authorization from the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons in December 2018 for the distribution of petroleum products and the construction of service stations in the country. The authorization supports initiatives of regional integration, South-South cooperation, and CEMAC cooperation, as Equatorial Guinea represents the fourth member-state in which Tradex operates, following Cameroon, Chad, and the Central African Republic.
This year, Tradex intends to align consumers more closely with its products by extending product supply to continental Equatorial Guinea. Although there is oil production on the continent, companies in the region must currently commute to the Port of Luba on Bioko Island to receive fuel.
“After performing a study to assess the possibility to invest in Equatorial Guinea, an investor cannot decide to invest when the disadvantages are greater than the benefits. At this moment, the benefits are greater than the challenges. No matter the country you work in, you will always face some challenges, so the important thing is to know how to overcome them and keep on moving forward.”