The publicly owned company Ports of Cabo Delgado (PCD) has admitted there are long delays in building the logistical base for the hydrocarbon industry in the northern Mozambican city of Pemba, but claims this is a knock-on effect of the delays by the energy companies themselves in taking their final investment decisions.
Cited in Thursday’s issue of the Maputo daily Noticias”, PCD managing director Andre da Silva claimed that everything depends on decisions by the American and Italian companies Anadarko, and ENI, who are the operators of offshore areas one and four of the Rovuma Basin, where huge deposits of natural gas have been found.
The final decisions by these companies on investing in liquefied natural gas factories have been repeatedly postponed, and so PCD has revised its construction timetable on the Pemba base, which is supposed to provide logistical support to oil and gas operations.
“If ENI and Anadarko had decided to advance with their investments, then we would also be concluding our part”, said Silva. “But we felt it was not worthwhile running ahead with work on the logistical base, if there would be nobody to make due use of it”.
Nonetheless, he guaranteed that the first part of the logistical base will be ready by 2017 in order to respond to needs arising from the drilling of additional wells in areas one and four. Silva thought that the entire base will be operational by 2018. The initial plan was for the first part of the base to be ready by 2016.
The mobilization of the required equipment and other preliminary work is 70 per cent complete, he claimed, and about 20 million dollars have so far been invested in the logistical base. The total investment in the base could reach between 200 and 300 million dollars.
PCD is owned 50 per cent by the National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH) and 50 per cent by the port and rail company CFM. The government has granted PCD a 30 year lease on the Pemba base, and on the oil and gas port to be built 400 kilometres further north at Palma. The Pemba base has been subleased to ENH Integrated Logistics Services (ENHILS), which is a partnership between ENH Logistics (a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of ENH) and the Nigerian company Orlean Invest.
When the first stone for the Pemba base was laid by the then President, Armando Guebuza, in August 2014, Silva told reporters “we shall have, in the same place, a commercial port, warehouses, equipment repair workshops, a spooling base, and specialized workshops dealing with the tubes used in the industry and producing subsea equipment”.
The project also envisages a residential area with its new hospital and schools, and shopping, banking, sports and entertainment facilities. But everything is now at least a year behind schedule.
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