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UAP eyes South Sudan’s lucrative oil and power pie

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UAP Insurance South Sudan’s is angling for a piece of the lucrative oil and power industry ahead of the first ever global conference on energy and infrastructure to be held on October 11 and 12 in Juba.

The conference brings together industry experts, government officials from the Transitional Government of National Unity and leaders from the private sector will gather in Juba to tackle energy and infrastructure challenges and showcase opportunities.

Among the key discussion points will be assessing the technology and infrastructure needs for development of the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors, as well as how to finance, build, implement and operate new projects, taking on security challenges and overcoming insecurity on the oilfields and the need for regional energy integration in downstream infrastructure, including refineries and export routes.

It has been commissioned and endorsed by the ministry of Petroleum of South Sudan and will feature keynote inaugural speeches from President Salva Kiir and Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the Minister of Petroleum and a plenary session moderated by the UAP Old Mutual Group Managing Director, General Insurance James Wambugu.

UAP has provided general insurance risks for Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC), Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC) and Sudd Petroleum Operating Company (SPOC).

“Based on the outcomes of the conference, UAP will be keen on capitalising on the potential insurable interest for the infrastructure both upstream and downstream as well as the economic activity generated
from the multiplier effect of these investments”, said UAP South Sudan Managing Director Kris Mbaya.

“Further, we also look forward to insuring existing (national) infrastructure like the refinery, the pipeline and the operating wells that have already been sunk and participating in structured financing instruments for the necessary State infrastructure such as roads, bridges, pipelines & communication systems, Specific to existing businesses and infrastructure, UAP conducts risk surveys and assessments to advice on the risk to be insured and ways to mitigate on these risks” added Mbaya.

“For new investors in the country, we are able to leverage the collective insight enabled by our wide network of strategic partners in order to advice on investment processes, regulations and licensing in addition to providing a seamless insurance portfolio,” he said.

Related: FEP Holdings partners with UAP to offer insurance services

Already, UAP has had successful joint ventures in South Sudan including an iconic commercial property, UAP Equatoria Tower, a joint venture between UAP and the Central Equatoria Development & Investment Authority.

“Possible options of partnership can be explored through our Investment arm of the business, if aligned to our business strategies. Another option lies in bringing together our investors to pool funds for investment into public/private partnership projects that would be anchored on concessions” Mbaya noted.

According him, the ongoing conflict in some parts of South Sudan has made it difficult for reinsurance partners to support political and terrorism covers due to the high probability of the risk occurring.

“From an insurance perspective, the country has been in conflict for the last three years making it a great challenge for insurers to develop covers that have acceptable risk profiles.” he said.

According to Mbaya, UAP will also be seeking to provide covers for business interruption to the players in the oil and gas sector.

Currently, 95% of the South Sudan budget is financed by oil revenues, which has resulted in near a total collapse of the financial system with corporates lacking access to hard currency and in this way impacting the efficacy towards meeting business obligations.

“We encourage other investors to come to South Sudan because the business community needs a strong ecosystem to support the players. We serve in the service industry and without the support of other aspects of the economy, this impacts us directly,” he said.

Despite the conflict, UAP rates South Sudan’s outlook as positive and promising based on the current state of the economy as well as the government efforts in securing peace.  “We are prepared to realise gains of a peaceful environment,” Mbaya said.

UAP Insurance has been in operation for 10 years in South Sudan. It is part of the UAP Old Mutual group in East Africa and part of the wider Old Mutual Plc Group which is a leading insurance and investment player with involvement in all segments of the energy business, including working with the three operating consortia.

UAP Insurance South Sudan completed the construction of its UAP Equatoria Tower in 2017; a Grade ‘A’ office complex that is also Juba’s tallest building.

Focusing on dynamic workshops, presentations, panels and keynotes, the event will create an environment for networking and deal-making among South Sudan’s energy leaders.

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BT Correspondent
BT Correspondenthttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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