The establishment of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Palma could stimulate the diversification of investments in the Cabo Delgado region, according to Omar Mithá, chairman of the Board of Directors of ENH.
According to Mithá, the establishment of a SEZ would, above all, encourage the participation of national companies and institutions in projects related to the exploitation of hydrocarbons Following the recent discovery of large natural gas reserves in the Rovuma Basin, the Palma region was chosen for the implementation of numerous projects, including liquefaction plants, synthetic diesel production, fertilisers, ports, airports, hotels, restaurants and other complementary services.
It is estimated that the implementation of LNG projects in the Rovuma Basin will absorb more than US$25-billion. It is, for the time being, one of the largest investments made in a single project in the country.
The city of Maputo recently hosted a seminar publicizing investment opportunities accompanying the implementation of natural gas projects in the Rovuma Basin and Sasol projects in Inhambane Province.
Speaking to journalists about these developments, Mithá said that, for example, in the case of Pande and Temane – an Inhambane Province project operated by Sasol since 2004 – work on the pipeline was already well advanced, but that there were still many opportunities for Mozambican involvement in construction, camp management and food services and maintenance, among other fields.
“We have recently closed the contracts in the area operated by ENI in the Rovuma Basin but we also expect that in Area-1 where the operator is Anadarko, there may also be an outcome as soon as possible”, the ENH chairman said.
Regarding Area-4, whose operator is ENI, Mithá said that the FID, scheduled for this month, would open more opportunities for local workers and SMEs in Palma, such
as supply vessels whose crew will need accommodation.
“Nowadays, anyone looking at Pemba and Palma sees hotels with very low occupancy rates. But that rate was high in the research phase. This will happen again after these final investment decisions”, he said.
Regarding Anadarko, Mithá indicated that the FID is scheduled for the last quarter of 2017, but says that this is not far away, considering that 2016 is nearly over.
“So the sooner we start our preparation and the sooner we stop talking and go to more concrete things, the better it will be for us”, he said.
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