Plans to build a gas pipeline from the northern Mozambican district of Palma to the South African province of Gauteng took a step forward when a partnership agreement to build the pipeline was signed in Maputo on 22 April. The new agreement builds on a memorandum of understanding between the partners signed in February. The companies that signed the agreement were Profin Consulting (represented by its Chief Executive Officer, Olivia Machel); Mozambique's National Hydrocarbon Company, ENH (represented by Martinho Tavares, of its Board of Directors); the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau, CPP, and the China Petroleum Technology Development Corporation (both represented by their deputy chairpersons, Chen Qingxun and Yun Wei), and the South African company Progas Investment (represented by Nhlanhla Magubane).
Between them the two Mozambican partners hold 56 per cent of what will be called the African Renaissance pipeline. The Chinese partners hold 20 per cent, and the South Africans 24 per cent. The project viability studies, estimated to cost $45 million, will be financed by CPP. The total cost of the 2,600 kilometre pipeline is put at six billion dollars, and China will provide credit for 70 per cent of this ($4.2 billion). At a press conference presenting the project, Olivia Machel said its key goal is "to promote the strategic development of the natural gas sector in Mozambique, so as to ensure Mozambican control of the sector, and to allow the government to maximize revenue from the hydrocarbon resources in the Rovuma Basin".
It is hoped that the project will create 50,000 direct and indirect jobs, ensure technical and professional training and transfer technology to Mozambicans. Profin Consulting was set up in July 2015, specifically to ensure Mozambican participation in the pipeline. The best known figure in the company is the chairperson of its general meeting, former defence minister Alberto Chipande, the man who fired the first shots in Mozambique's independence war in 1964.
Source: All Africa