Throughout 2017, KELTON have continuously expanded their worldwide reach and reputation, and were able to record several successes in their global operations. The MENA (Middle East North Africa) region in particular has demonstrated significant potential for growth, and represents a great opportunity for KELTON. Consequently, the company was absolutely delighted to have had the chance to partake in a recent week-long trade mission to Algeria and Morocco.
Organised by Scottish Development International (SDI), KELTON Business Development Manager Joseph O’Neil joined the trade mission from 24 to 30 September to deepen the company’s understanding of the Algerian market and assess Morocco regarding its potential as a new venture. Highlights of the trip included meetings with several operators, receptions at the British Embassies, and a visit to Hassi Messaoud. Keep reading to find out more about what Joe got up to during his visit.
Starting in Algeria, the trade mission itinerary was kicked off with appointments at BP Algerie and SONATRACH in Algiers, the latter of which was also attended by the British Ambassador to Algeria, Andrew Noble. As one of the biggest companies in Africa, SONATRACH produces 40BCM of natural gas and owns one of the largest shale gas reserves worldwide. The mission further visited BAOSEM (Bulletin des Appels d'Offres Du Secteur de l'Energie et des Mines), the Algerian equivalent to FPAL, to acquaint themselves with their registration and tendering process. Following the company visits, Joe and his fellow Scottish delegates were invited to visit the Ambassador’s residence for a market briefing and subsequent reception.
From Algiers, the next stop of the trade mission led Joe to the town of Hassi Messaoud in eastern Algeria, where he stayed in the RedMed compound. Home to several companies, Joe had the chance to meet with several operators there, among others the local SONATRACH division, where some of their key personnel and trade mission delegates alike had the opportunity to present.
Following the very insightful and successful visit to Algeria, Joe and his fellow Scotsmen transferred into the neighbouring country of Morocco, where in the evening they met with David Harries, Consul-General, in Casablanca. As Director of Trade, he effectively set the scene for the upcoming couple of days.
First up, companies Sound Energy and SDX Energy - both of which are located in Rabat - were paid a visit, before a working lunch was held at the British Embassy in attendance of the Ambassador, Thomas Young. Mr Young provided the mission with very valuable insights into the local economy and its development, highlighting the fact that significant investments are currently being undertaken throughout Morocco. In particular for the energy industry, Morocco offers considerable opportunities, and with easy links to Europe, there is the possibility for it to develop into an Oil & Gas hub for north-west Africa and therefore an interesting opportunity for KELTON. Upon returning to Casablanca, further meetings included the local Chamber of Commerce and Jacobs Engineering SA, which constitutes their main hub for the African continent, before Joe finally headed back to Scotland.
To conclude, the trade mission proved to be a valuable step towards increasing KELTON’s visibility in this part of the MENA region, and have thoroughly enjoyed liaising with the local stakeholders met as part of the trip. Based on the very positive response towards KELTON’s business endeavours, there will undoubtedly be a follow-up visit in the near future! مَع السَلامة (maʿ al-salāmah).