“You don’t have to know anyone to place orders critical for your operations…” – EnergyHub Founder, Felix Amieyeofori, PhD.
By Ikechi Ibeji
EnergyHub burst on the scene a few months ago, to change how business is done between international investors, operators and equipment suppliers on the one hand and Nigerian operators and consumers on the other. The platform is poised to transfer outsourcing, farm-ins, contract bidding, and other transactions in the energy industries from the predominant practice of personal contacts, to an energy, oil, and gas digital marketplace, where transactions can be completed seamlessly at the push of a button.
Below, the founder and Chairman of Entek Integrated Resources Limited, owners of the EnergyHub brand, Dr. Felix Amieyeofori shares his vision for the platform, whose time has come, especially as Nigeria races to catch up with the global digital transformation, recently accelerated by the unique business ecosystem created by the worldwide COVID 19 pandemic.
Dr Amieyeofori Felix, a seasoned Petroleum Engineer, and an Economist is one of the industry stakeholders with more than 3 decades of meritorious career in the upstream, midstream, and downstream segments of the oil and gas industry. He has at various times held very senior management and top executive positions in the industry: he was MD/CEO of Energia Limited, Vice President Operations/Deputy Managing Director of Mart Resources Inc, Petroleum Engineering Manager and General Manager, Pan Ocean Oil and Newcross Petroleum Limited. Dr. Felix was also a pioneer Director of Umugini Transport Company Limited, a crude oil export line company. He also pioneered a 10000 bpsd Energia Limited Modular Refinery Project and is currently working on another 5000 bopd Refinery Project with Lowrie Refinery. He is a fellow and member of several professional and academic institutions and a holder of a Ph.D. in International Trade and Development Finance from the University of Port Harcourt and in Credit Management from the International University of Panama. He is also a Minister of the Gospel.
What inspired you to pursue the vision of setting up an energy Marketplace in Nigeria?
First, we are already in the digital age, where things are done in real-time in the digital arena. However, most transactions in the oil and gas, and even in the broader energy structure still rely on human contacts and connections. Products and services, and even technology are sourced through known contacts, and we think this is “old school”. We, therefore, came on board to create the digital bridge that will facilitate business to business interactions, especially for products and services, and technology transfer at the push of the button in the comfort of your home, office or car. You do not have to know anybody before you place an order for a critical item for your business or operation. Just log on to EnergyHub, and submit a request, and there, you have what you are looking for. This is our vision.
From your experience so far, how difficult has it been to achieve this vision?
Well, it is a new creation, and so, it’s too early to judge how difficult or easy it is to actualize our vision. It is a new product, and as the economists would say, supply creates its demand. So, our drive at the moment is to create the demand for this supply of a seamless digital ecosystem for the oil and gas and the energy world. We are creating awareness and the usefulness of this platform, and we are confident that not too long from now, it will be as busy as any market.
You seem to emphasise Nigerian content and OEMs. What informs this emphasis?
Our vision is to build capacity for the Nigerian industry and by extension, the African oil and gas and energy industry. The platform is to attract OEMs directly to the consumers on the one part and to also create the connectivity for technology transfer and adoption of innovative and global best practices from developed industries. EnergyHub in the future should be where all energy stakeholders want to be.
It is obvious from your website that you are leaning more towards oil and gas. At what point will the power and electricity sector get commensurate attention?
Just as in every human endeavour, you have to start from somewhere and a place you are most familiar with. Oil and gas are familiar terrains. But obviously, EnergyHub is already moving towards power and electricity, through renewables. We have recently established collaboration with a foreign solar energy manufacturing group to bring their products and services closer to Nigerians. Already, some power and electricity dealers are speaking with us to bring their products and services on EnergyHub. We are also in discussions with an indigenous group to support a mini LNG project, which is an intermediate sub-sector for power generation.
…. To be continued next week.
- Ikechi is a guest blogger for EnergyHub.