New Appointment to Expand GIBB Petrochemicals & Energy Footprint in Africa


Thabiso Motshegoa: Business Development Executive at GIBB Petrochemicals & Energy


Thabiso Motshegoa has been appointed as business development executive at GIBB Petrochemicals & Energy. It’s a move that forms part of the company’s plans to entrench itself in the South African oil and gas sector and grow its footprint on the greater African continent.

Motshegoa says the new role will require hard work and innovative ideas to make inroads into the market and compete with well-established incumbents. “GIBB is up against two tiers of competitors: large multinationals that are well entrenched in the market in South Africa and local emerging engineering companies that are nimble and have specialist skills, but do not necessarily have experience of large projects.

“GIBB has the advantage of 65 years of delivering large, complex projects in South Africa and further afield. In addition, it is a home-grown organisation with a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges presented by the continent.”

A structural engineer by training, Motshegoa has worked in the oil and gas industry most of his career, starting off in engineering roles and later moving into business development.

“My first job was as a graduate engineer for a multinational oil and gas engineering company, Wood Group (former Foster Wheeler SA). In 2007, I joined Thyssenkrupp – also in oil and gas – and in 2011, I joined a mining engineering firm. The lure of petroleum fumes drew me back into the oil and gas sector when I joined Fluor in 2012,” he says.

It was at Fluor that Motshegoa made the transition to business development. He was assigned to the company’s Durban office where he was charged with looking after four coastal refineries, fuel storage companies at Island View Terminal and Richards Bay. He was later part of a proposal team for the multibillion-dollar Rovuma LNG for Mozambique.

Motshegoa says some of the greatest challenges facing the sector include the transition to cleaner fuels by many countries and the oil price slump as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected investments and developments. “The projects exist and we intend to partner with our clients to support projects from cradle to grave.”

He says that although transition to cleaner energy is imperative, the natural oil and gas deposits on the continent need to be exploited – by using technology that minimises environmental hazards – to mitigate the energy deficit on the continent.

“Natural gas will continue to grow as beneficiation technology matures and hydrogen asserts itself as the new kid on the block. This is an area where new entrants are able to leapfrog some of the entrenched oil and gas engineering companies, but it requires agility and expertise to succeed.”

Motshegoa says he is excited to be part of one of the best local engineering companies in South Africa. “GIBB is well known for its multi-disciplinary approach and ability to adapt to changing market needs, which have seen it deliver effective and sustainable engineering and architectural solutions for more than six decades – here and on the continent – it’s a heritage I look forward to playing a role in.”

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