(2015-07-29) The Mozambican government and the US oil company Anadarko today signed a US$180 million (around EUR 163 million) agreement for the relocation of 5.000 people to be removed from the area where the company will build a gas plant in northern Mozambique.
Speaking at a press conference after signing the agreement, the Minister of Land, Environment and Mozambican Rural Development Celso Correia said that the memorandum of understanding provides for the construction of houses and social infrastructures in the resettlement areas. Families will be taken from the area where Anadarko will build a liquefied natural gas plant in the district of Palma, Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique.
“The agreement sets out the resettlement procedures for the communities where the plant will be built and how they will benefit from it. It’s more than a resettlement agreement, because it is also an agreement for the development of communities,” said Correia.
Under the memorandum, said the Minister of Land, Forestry and Rural Development, Anadarko will also support the professional reintegration of families, by creating conditions that allow access to their source of livelihood and training programs.
“The rights of the communities are safeguarded, those who want to continue to do fishing or agriculture, will continue to do so,” said Celso Correia.
Correia described the amount allocated to the resettlement program as robust and a model for the country, stressing that the government and Anadarko sought to avoid the mistakes made in the development of previous projects in the extractive industry.
“Previous projects first prioritized physical resettlement and only afterwards did they move on to the implementation of development projects for the communities. And this originated tensions,” added the Minister of Land, Forestry and Rural Development Mozambique.
In turn, the president of Anadarko in Mozambique, John Peffer, said that his company will spend over US$20 billion ( around 18 billion euros) in the development of its liquefied natural gas plant project, as a clear indication of the company’s will to help in the development of Mozambique and its communities.
“Our commitment is to ensure that communities benefit from this project because Anadarko respects the social dimension of the areas where it operates, as a fundamental value,” Peffer said.
The consortium led by Anadarko discovered about 75 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Rovuma basin in northern Mozambique, near the area where the consortium led by Italy’s ENI also found over 60 trillion cubic feet of gas.
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