Angola's second oil refinery project in the port city of Lobito is expected to be completed by 2010 as new investors have pledged to fund the delayed project from next year, local media reported on Tuesday.
Syanga Abilio, vice-president and administrator of state oil firm Sonangol, was quoted as saying that there have been "some difficulties" finding companies to invest in the 3.5 billion US dollars refinery project.
However, Sonangol has stipulated that oil firms seeking to participate in offshore blocks 15, 17 and 18, whose licensing rounds begin this month, must become partners in the Lobito refinery, Abilio added.
Increasing interest from energy companies in the planned Lobito refinery, which will be Angola's largest with a capacity to process 200,000 barrels daily, means the stalled project will be operational by 2010, he said.
The new refinery is being built by Samsung of South Korea under a deal signed in 2000 and will produce enough fuel to satisfy Angola's domestic demand. Although the country pumps about 1.3 million barrels of oil per day, Angola currently only has one obsolete refinery near the capital Luanda with a capacity of 40, 000-barrel daily.
Angola, which is sub-Saharan Africa's second-largest oil producer after Nigeria, plans to increase its crude oil production by around 50 percent by 2008. Production will be increased to 2 million barrels per day from 1.3 million, according to an official of the Angolan ministry's Licensing and Exploration Department recently.