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Mozambique delegation focuses on city development


A delegation of high-ranking Mozambican politicians and officials will visit Aberdeen this week as they seek to learn more about city development and the infrastructure required to support a burgeoning energy industry.

The Lord Provost met the leader of the trade delegation,Her Excellency Mrs Camelita Rita Namashulua, Minister of State Administration, Providence of Cado-Delgado. Lord Provost George Adam will welcome the delegation to the Granite City on Tuesday [22 July], for a six day visit which will include visits to industry bases, the city's two universities, the James Hutton Institute, ASET International Oil and Gas Academy, and businesses with an interest in the oil and gas industry.

The Ministerial-level group is interested in finding out about how Aberdeen operates as a city, with a focus on planning, infrastructure, transport, public private partnerships and community engagement.

The Mozambican visit follows-on from a conference held in Aberdeen last summer on the development of the emerging oil and gas industry in the African country, which was attended by President of Mozambique Armando Emilio Guebuza, and the subsequent participation of Deputy Provost of Aberdeen John Reynolds and Aberdeen City Council's corporate director of Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure Gordon McIntosh in a conference in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.

The country is looking to follow Aberdeen's lead in harnessing and developing the industry, while building the infrastructure to cope with the anticipated boom.

Mozambique has seen a remarkable turn-around in fortunes in recent years and is emerging as a strong player in the oil and gas industry. The African country's oil and gas sector is expected to experience substantial development in the next few years following the recent discoveries of important gas reserves in the Rovuma basin, near the border with Tanzania. The onshore Panda and Temane gas fields have proven reserves of 3.5trillion cubic feet and major operators such as Petronas, ENI, Statoil and Anadarko are already engaged in exploration, both onshore and offshore.

Mozambique has come forward strongly over the past few years as one of the most important new areas of offshore gas development in the world. It is estimated that it will have the third largest gas reserves in the world and is attracting significant interest from UK companies.

The delegation, which will include Minister of State Administration Carmelita Namashulua, National Director for Municipal Development Manual Alberto, National Director for Planning and Institutional Development Candida Moiane, City of Pemba Mayor Tagir Carimo, Governor of Cabo-Delgado Province Abdul Razak, Provincial Director of Mineral Resources and Energy for Cabo-Delgado Province Ramiro Nguiraze, and High Commissioner Carlos dos Santos are particularly keen to learn about planning, infrastructure, development, transport and public private partnerships.

The Lord Provost said: "I am delighted to welcome Mrs Namashulua, Minister of State Administration, and her colleagues to Aberdeen to discuss the new opportunities developing in Mozambique and how they can learn from Aberdeen's experience.

"The country is at a crucial stage in developing its energy and gas industry, which presents huge opportunities for Mozambique, as well as exciting business opportunities for Aberdeen companies. This is a high-ranking delegation which is keen to find out more about the Aberdeen experience and do business with companies from the North-east."

Mr McIntosh will give a presentation on Aberdeen's story and local content in oil and gas development, ahead of meetings with the council's head of Planning and Sustainable Development Dr Margaret Bochel, head of asset management and operations Hugh Murdoch, and Derick Murray, director of NESTRANS, the transport partnership for Aberdeen City and Shire.

The visitors will take in Robert Gordon University and its DART drilling simulator; Aberdeen University; the James Hutton Institute, ASET International Oil and Gas Academy, as well as law firm Stronachs where they will find out about the legal services required in the energy industry.

Councillor Laing said: "I am looking forward to meeting with the members of this prestigious delegation, who are so interested in Aberdeen and how our city has developed and grown, and is still developing and growing, to meet the demands of the energy industry.

"It is great testament to Aberdeen that such high-ranking politicians and officials are prepared to travel so far to learn from us and to look at ways in which we can potentially work together in the future on educational as well as industrial initiatives for the benefit of Mozambique and Aberdeen.

"We are building a very positive relationship with Mozambique and I am confident that this visit will further cement that relationship and provide significant opportunities for Aberdeen and its businesses in the months and years to come.

Mr McIntosh said: "This visit from such a high-ranking delegation, following a presidential visit a year ago, underlines our position as a global leader in oil and gas.

"Mozambique presents huge opportunities and our visitors have come here to learn from Aberdeen's experience in the past and Aberdeen's expertise in offshore energy and development. I am confident that the series of meetings, visits and presentations Aberdeen City Council has arranged will be very informative, instructive and useful for all delegates."