Katti key in Namcor’s N$50 million bonusBy: JAN POOLMAN
NAMIBIAN businessman Knowledge Katti has facilitated a major partnership between Namcor and a Brazilian oil and gas exploration company, Cowan Petróleo e Gás S.A. (Cowan).
History has been made with this agreement, in terms of which Namcor received a cash injection of N$50 million as a bonus for Cowan to explore for gas and oil in Namcor’s offshore blocks 2613A and 2613B.
The blocks are located in the Lüderitz Sub-Basin off southern Namibia.
Cowan submitted the application for the exploration blocks on July 15 2011 and a exploration licence was granted to the company by the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
According to Katti he introduced Cowan as a willing investor to Namcor, after which the agreement between the two companies, under the watchful eye of the Government Negotiating Team (GNT), was concluded on October 5 2011.
“I informed President Hifikepunye Pohamba about Cowan and that they are willing to pay a N$50 million bonus to Namcor when he was on a visit in Brazil. Prime Minister Nahas Angula and the board of directors of Namcor have also been informed about the payment of the bonus which can help Namcor, experiencing some financial difficulties, tremendously,” Katti told The Namibian.
“It is the first time that an investor is paying a bonus to a parastatal and that there are no strings attached,” Katti boasted.
“Namcor does not have to pay a penny for the exploration work and can use that money as part of their budget. Therefore I am extremely proud to have introduced this opportunity to Namcor, especially the N$50 million cash bonus which the investor agreed to pay.”
Cowan will also provide specialised technical training to Namcor technical staff. A budget for carrying out the envisaged exploration has been agreed to and an extensive work programme is being put in place.
Commenting on the completion of the deal, the chief executive officer of Cowan, Saulo Wanderly Filho, said they were proud to have Namcor as a strategic partner for the exploration.
“We want to explore and hopefully discover oil in Namibia. Secondly, we want to add value to our Namibian partners, as we have done with the disbursement of N$50 million to Namcor. This is proof of our commitment to Namibia as an exciting and promising oil and gas exploration zone.”
He also said that plans were underway to set up an office in Windhoek from where their programmes in Namibia would be coordinated.
The acting CEO of Namcor, Colin Ramothibe, said Namcor was pleased to engage with international investors who believed in the huge potential of Namibia’s oil and gas sector.
“An agreement such as this one contributes to the sustainability of this state-owned entity. It is an indication that we can leverage our position to raise the profile of this company as an important actor in Namibia’s efforts to successfully harness our natural resources and grow our economy.”
Cowan, with 55 years of experience in business, is active both as an exploration and production company and as a service provider operating its fleet of drilling rigs.
Namcor, on the other hand, has not been successful in its operations. The government gave it a mandate to import 50 percent of the country’s fuel needs, but this was withdrawn in February 2011 when the company ran up a debt of N$260 million. The government had to pay the bill.