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West Africa's one-stop oil logistics base

Article - September 25, 2012
The deep waters of Luba Freeport provide the perfect location for a shipping hub
Operational since 2002, Luba Freeport Limited (LFL) is located in a deep-water bay on Bioko Island’s southern coast. Its strategically sheltered geographical location in the Gulf of Guinea makes it the perfect one-stop logistics hub to serve Equatorial Guinea’s rapidly expanding oil and gas industry and act as a distribution center to the entire West African region.

The unique positioning of Luba’s Freeport is not the only reason increasing numbers of service firms are establishing  themselves in the base; valuable additional benefits include an extensive port infrastructure together with exemption from an array of customs duties and corporate taxes.

Managed since 2006 by U.K. based investment conglomerate Lonrho Plc., Luba Freeport is a joint venture between Equatorial Guinea’s national oil company, GEPetrol, and Lonrho itself, which possesses a 63% operator stake. The deepwater port fully satisfies the requirements of Equatorial Guinea’s oil industry and enjoys full government support. Clear evidence of the latter is the 25-year operator concession for Freeport granted by the government and the extension of tax exemption to client companies that set up operation within Luba.

LFL’s facilities, unparalleled in the entire region, spread over 500,000 square meters and include a world-class port, docking facilities capable of berthing freight vessels, a logistics center with storage areas, and repair and maintenance yards. Operating as an autonomous duty-free zone, LFL boasts its own fuel storage area, bunkering services and a 24-hour customs service under a secure admissions regimen. 

Moreover, vessels with 16-meter drafts can access its deep-water jetty, the loading dolphin has a water depth of 12 meters and the port has unrestricted maritime access at all tide levels. Additional facilities include a helicopter landing pad and good road access to Malabo and to other parts of the island.

With clients as important and reputable as Exxon Mobil, Marathon Oil, Schlumberger, Noble Energy, Baker Hughes and SBM Offshore, LFL has become a world-class reference for companies seeking a full-services oil logistics base in the region.