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From Crude to Comfort: How Steel Buildings Support Oil and Gas Development in Africa


Africa's oil and gas industries have experienced tremendous growth in recent decades, driving economic development across the continent. However, extracting and processing these resources poses daunting logistical and environmental challenges requiring durable, scalable accommodation solutions. Steel modular buildings have emerged as the construction method of choice, providing harsh-weather shelters for remote energy projects.

As a leader in prefabricated steel construction, China's Lida Group has made invaluable contributions to supporting workforce housing needs from crude exploration to liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals. This article examines how the sector is accommodated through relocatable, adaptable structures plus Lida Group's pioneering role.

Remote Exploration Camps

Prospection teams prospect vast wilderness, often relying on fly-in camps. Modules assemble fast to stabilize early crews. Lida outfits modular complexes with bunkhouses, mess halls, and workshops assembled in weeks versus stick buildings requiring longer setups.

Reversible connections ready units for redeployment. Composite panel insulation withstands extreme heat and cold, protecting equipment. Lida pioneered rapid camp installations enabling accelerated appraisal across challenging terrains like South Sudan's swamps.

Pipeline Construction Villages

Once reserves confirm, pipelines transport hydrocarbon fuels to markets. Lida constructs linear temporary towns alongside rights-of-way, housing thousands.

Standardized components reduce material waste. Demountable designs disassemble efficiently after completion. Lida accommodated workers constructing the $25B Mozambique LNG project's 1200km conduits through varied landscapes.

Processing Plant Townships

Extracted resources flow to centralized upgrading hubs. Lida constructs entire self-contained communities to house long-term plant staff.

Modules assemble into neighborhoods with recreational/commercial centers. Reconfigurable layouts adapt to evolving needs, as demonstrated at Equatorial Guinea's offshore Alba Gas Project upgraded with Lida additions. Steel resilience withstands corrosive chemicals.

Offshore Platform Camps

Drilling platforms extract offshore reserves. Lida fabricates weatherproof living quarters transported and anchored to rigs.

Rotating crews reside comfortably during multi-week hitches. Central systems maintain livability under extreme marine conditions, supported by Lida infrastructure on Ghana's Jubilee field rigs. Demountable designs facilitate relocation.

LNG Export Terminals

Natural gas liquefies through low-temperature cooling for shipping. Lida constructs entire LNG port cities processing multi-train operations.

Modules assemble into neighborhoods, recreation centers and administrative complexes. Modular hospitals and schools supplement essential services long-term. Lida outfits workers at Monrovia, Liberia's terminal providing electricity feedstock for development.

Adaptability & Durability

Africa's energy projects evolve rapidly through exploration, construction, and operational phases. Lida pioneers modular reconfiguration, extending structures' lifecycles.

Demountable connections upgrade rooms into expanded units/departments. Reversible panel connections redirect modules to changing land uses. Galvanized finishes protect components for reuse or resale worldwide. Such innovations maximize sustainability and affordable housing solutions throughout projects' dynamic lifespans.


Steel modular construction has revolutionized workforce housing for Africa's oil/gas sector confronting especially harsh and remote conditions. As an early industry leader, Lida Group continues empowering energy development through fast, scalable, and durable building solutions adaptable to all project stages and landscapes. Standardized designs streamline construction while reusable components minimize waste— pioneering smarter accommodation supporting the continent's valuable resources and workers.

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