Tuesday, October 20, 2020
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Government pledges support for Mozambique gas projects

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Last year, the Mozambique government in collaboration with UN Environment and Norway’s Oil for Development Programme, launched a report last year to strengthen Mozambique’s capacity to address environmental management challenges related to its oil and gas sector.

This comes as the Southeast African country is expected to become the world’s third-largest natural gas exporter by 2023, bringing a projected $39 billion to the Mozambican economy over the next 20 years and creating over 700,000 jobs by 2035, according to data provided by UN Environment.

The report also highlights the importance of regulating, monitoring and documenting air emissions from the oil and gas sector, including methane, which is considered to be more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and a major contributor to climate change.

The report concluded that some of Mozambique’s most urgent challenges are the need to update the country’s oil spill preparedness and response strategy for both land and sea, and chemicals and waste management associated with the industry, given the projected expansion of the sector over the next decade.

The South African government has reiterated its commitment to support the Mozambique government in developing its emerging gas market. During a South Africa and Mozambique virtual trade and investment seminar entitled, Developing Afrocentric Solutions and Forging Partnership in Response to Covid-19′, Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister, Nomalungelo Gina said: “As we all know, Mozambique’s new growth opportunity is anchored on the large natural gas reserves and the associate liquefied natural gas project in the Cabo Delgado province”.

“We reiterate our commitment to assist the government and people of Mozambique to leverage the opportunity to capitalise in this mega project and advance a ‘made in Mozambique, made in Africa’ agenda to increase the supply of locally made goods and services into these projects,” she said.

On the other hand, Standard Bank is one of the leading financial services providers involved in the financing of up to $485m and $900m ECIC guarantee. Rand Merchant Bank provided the largest funding commitment by an African Bank.The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is also ramping up investment in an infrastructure project in Mozambique particularly in the energy sector. The South African public and private sectors are actively involved in supporting the country in this “very important venture” through the $120m investment by the bank, said Gina.

DBSA is assisting ENH, a Mozambican government-owned holding company responsible for the research, exploration, production, refining, transportation, storage, and marketing of hydrocarbons and its derivatives, to develop at length to monetise its natural gas and to become a hub for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

Gina said these investments are crucial as countries battle with the aftermath of Covid-19.“This is one area that we’ve all seen the need to make sure that we produce locally, we have our mega projects locally so that we don’t depend on other countries to make sure that we survive as countries. I believe as African countries this is one opportunity we can grab with both hands,” she concluded.

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