With extensive experience in the Middle East and the South Asia Pacific region, Khadija Ba, CEO of Der Mond Group spoke to Africa Oil & Power about how Der Mond brings crucial expertise to Senegal –a soon-to-be major producing African hydrocarbon producing country.
What are the competitive advantages of Der Mond Group in the Senegalese downstream sector?
Der Mond Group was formed in 2015 in the Middle East, where it forged its first experiences in the energy sector. I founded Der Mond Group and in a context of growth of the hydrocarbon industry in the west-African region, the group wished to set up in Senegal to bring its experience and its full contribution to the development of this sector in our country. Der Mond is a private, independent and agile Senegalese company, whose business model and development plan are part of a long-term vision. It draws on the talent of young Senegalese as well as the experience of seasoned professionals in the industry. Listening to the needs of our customers, we dynamically integrate technological developments, market developments and public policies into our service offering. In addition, we favor long-term relationships with our customers, partners and suppliers, which makes it possible to establish win-win partnerships, as well as placing the need for mutual trust at the core of our exchanges.
Does Senegal have sufficient refining capacity to manage the influx of oil from the Sangomar field?
Thanks to the political and economic stability offered by our leaders and the confidence inspired by foreign investors for many decades, Senegal is one of the few countries in the sub-region to have a refinery and trained operational teams. The questions of the need to diversify refined products, as well as to increase capacity, are perfectly legitimate, but must above all be evaluated by specialized companies. Furthermore, in a global context of sustainable reduction in the consumption of petroleum products, particularly in transport, beyond the opportunity linked to the oil from the Sangomar fields, the analysis must above all take into account the possible prospects of meeting needs in refined products from Senegal and the sub-region, as well as the desirable development of a value chain in the petrochemical industry, generating added value and jobs in Senegal. It seems reasonable and natural, for such a development in Senegal, to rely on the skills acquired within the Société Africaine de Raffinage (operator of Senegal’s sole refinery), without forgetting that this type of investment constitutes a remarkable opportunity to attract expatriate talents or foreign, as well as catalyze collaborations between national and foreign actors.
Does Der Mond Group wish to take part in the development of the Senegalese gas sector, in particular in the Gas-to-Power strategy?
The gas resources of Senegal are very significant, and as was the case in many other countries, the first phase of development was launched with a view to valorization and export, which at the national level, will generate a first windfall of income, through the participation of the national company, as well as tax benefits. It is important that the following projects take full account of Senegal’s domestic needs, including the Gas-to-Power developments. This second phase of projects will thus bring in a visible and significant way for Senegalese companies which will be able to participate in it, through the supply of goods and services. Der Mond certainly intends to take part in this important stage of industrialization and value creation in Senegal.
How does your experience in the Middle East allow you to bring added value in the development of Senegal as a hydrocarbon producing country?
The Middle East accounts for one third of world oil production, 50% of global oil reserves and 40% of gas reserves. As such, my experience in this region has allowed me to benefit from both an accelerated experience of the various problems of the sector, an exposure to the best practices of the industry and the constitution of a diversified network on the entire value chain.
In addition, in the field of training and education, the different degrees of success encountered in the different countries of the Middle East, in particular on the degree of involvement of nationals in the emergence of their economy with a view to ensuring its sustainability, provide us with a wealth of lessons learned for Senegal.
Der Mond Oil and Gas has a strong mandate to invest and to contribute to the sustainable growth of human capital in any country she operates. The Group has already implemented its activities in the downstream sector, supporting Senegal only refinery to source feedstock products in a reliable and cost-effective manner. Besides, Der Mond Oil and Gas is fully involved in the full channel of the Energy Sector internationally.
In your opinion, in what way is Senegal an attractive investment destination for African and international companies?
Senegal is a welcoming, peaceful country with immense human capital. Its political stability, its educational system, its geographic position giving it a potential role as a regional hub, its economic dynamism and the support of international donors make it, notably through its ambitious projects in the fields of energy, transport and agriculture, a very attractive destination for businesses around the world.