A delegation headed by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Rev. Abraham Sesay-Jones, has arrived home from the trade and investment mission in Johannesburg, South Africa. The purpose of the visit was to have a firsthand evaluation of Balvest Industry’s key activities in petroleum network operations and as well as to hold engagements with some of its key partners as a way of exploring investment opportunities in South Africa. The mission spanned from 24th -27th June 2019.
The visit to Johannesburg came as a result of the expression of interest by Balvest Industry, a South African based investment company, to invest in Sierra Leone especially its proposed interest in financing the resuscitation of the Oil Refinery that has been out of service for many years; thereby making available wholesale bulk supplies of Petroleum products to Sierra Leone at affordable pricing, setting up mobile fuel distribution outlets in the regions, constructing tank farms in strategic regions to facilitate ease of availability and subsequently constructing a modular ultra-modern Oil Refinery in an area in the Provincial region that will subsequently service regional fuel demands of the west African Region.
In various engagements the Sierra Leone delegation, presented an overview of Sierra Leone’s investment Potentials, a synopsis of the downstream petroleum Sector, and envisaged outcomes of the visit with a visual display of the proposed Nitty Project Site attenuating its potential advantages.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) Mr. Sheku Lexmond Koroma, motivated the investors to count on SLIEPA for a conducive business climate and the smooth facilitation of their investment with a reliable aftercare service.
The Executive Chairman, Petroleum Regulatory Agency, Local Partners, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Finance were also part of the delegation.
However, a follow-up mission of two high level officials were recommended to revisit and ascertain Balvest ‘’readiness’’ and ‘’preparedness’’ for the project commencement.