By Francis Tim Mbom & Joe Dinga Pefok
The General Manager of SONARA, Ibrahim Talba Malla, and the top executives of the African Refiners Association, ARA, met in Douala for a three-day come-together to discuss some of the challenges facing their Association with the present Ebola scourge featuring as one of their main worries.
The Douala gathering brought together some 16 top officials of the ARA from Gabon, Angola, Sierra Leone and Cameroon.
The President of the ARA, Pierre Reteno N’Diaye, who is also the GM of the National Oil Refinery of Gabon, SOGARA, told the press:
“We are here in Douala for an executive meeting of our Association, ARA, and to look into the problems facing the Association.
“It is natural that we, as an African Association that is engaged in energy production be concerned about Ebola, which has affected several African countries,” President N’Diaye said
He added that they were going to come up with a common communication strategy, which they shall circulate through the Association and which shall sensitize their workers on prevention measures.
As to some other burning issues, N’Diaye said that they were also going to discuss plans for the ARA General Assembly, billed for March, 2015. Besides, the ARA executives would have also looked into the budget of their Association.
“It is necessary that we look at what we have spent as well as what we have received as income,” ARA’s President said.
Meantime, Parfait Messina, one of SONARA’s Communication Officers, in a further briefing to the press said the Douala gathering was coming just a week after SONARA undertook a huge sensitization campaign within its Refinery, where all the staffers were drilled on what Ebola is, how it is transmitted and how it could be best avoided.
ARA’s President said the measures to be taken shall be to ensure that their companies and those they serve stay free from the disease.
Going by the President, ARA holds four of such meetings in a year and SONARA, this year, has hosted two of them.
During the August meeting in Douala, the ARA executives discussed and shared experiences on project executions. The gathering was meant to be especially important for SONARA as this corporate body was poised to such experiences as would come in handy in boosting the execution of its current expansion and modernization project.
The project, divided into two phases, is presently getting towards the end of the first phase. Worth some FCFA 620 billion, it aims, among several goals, to increase productivity from a current 2.1 million barrels a year to some 3.5 million. Besides, its production units shall be modernized and fashioned to refine both light and heavy crude, with a stress on the production of crude that is mined in Cameroon.
And with SONARA being a member of the African Refiners Association, it is expected that SONARA will benefit as well as share a lot that would make it a better and finer Refinery in Africa in particular and the world at large.