Mozambican government cuts off 7,000 hectares of land from Pemba oil and gas logistics base


The Mozambican government recently decided to reduce the area licensed to the Cabo Delgado Ports (PCD) company from 8,000 (eight thousand) to 1,000 (one thousand) hectares, just as the company has compensated the farmers using the area they had been granted.

Located in Pemba’s Muxara district, the land was intended for the construction of a gas and oil logistics facility but became the subject of a dispute between the PCD and the population, some of whom thought that the compensation offered was insufficient and took the matter to court.

Mayor of Pemba, Tagir Carimo, who by law manages the land in question, confirmed that the central government had taken the decision to reduce the area granted to the PCD company by about seven thousand hectares, without explaining why.

“There is work to be done. We as a city council supported the PDC’s leadership, and the people who had plots of land in the area were compensated. At that time, there was talk of 8,000 hectares, but now the area has been reduced, we need to take a new census to find out who is affected,” Carimo explained.

“If eventually there is land whose owners were compensated last year [which has been removed from the plan], I cannot say whether they will have to return the money or not. What we need to know is whether there is land in the new plan that was not in the old layout. We will have to study the best way forward,” Carimo said.

In 2015, some members of the public vandalized the fence surrounding the area granted to the PCD, claiming that they had been cut off from a drinking water fountain by the company’s barbed wire. Other disputes concerned the lack of clarity over resettlement.

On this issue, Carimo told Notícias that the company had said it was ready to resettle the population in an area of about two hectares. This however has not happened because there were not only people living in the area but also some who were farming there as well.

The PCD itself has consistently refused to discuss the matter, saying that only the local authority was authorized to do so in its capacity as urban land manager.

Portos de Cabo Delgado (PCD) manages the oil and gas logistics base in Pemba, Cabo Delgado province, and is in turn owned by state oil and gas company ENH in partnership with port and railway company CFM.

PCD was granted a concession in 2014 on an area of 8,000 hectares by the Mozambican government to build port terminals for oil and gas exports and imports of items needed for the development of the energy sector in the region.

The project includes construction of a pier about 300 metres, facilities for production and assembly of submarine equipment, access roads, as well as equipment storage areas and machine shops, to support the oil and gas industry in the region.

The first phase of construction of the Pemba Logistics Base is scheduled to end in 2016, two years before the date that the Mozambican government estimates for the start of gas production in the Rovuma basin in northern Mozambique.

PCD has sub-contracted construction of the project to ENHILS SA, made up of ENH, with 51 percent, and Nigeria’s Orlean Invest, with 49 percent.

Source: Notícias / Macauhub

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