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President of Mozambique to attend infrastructure development conference in Aberdeen


A conference on the development of the emerging oil and gas industry in Mozambique takes place in Aberdeen this week.

The President and the Lord Provost George Adam. President of Mozambique Armando Emilio Guebuza will attend the three day event at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, alongside several of his ministers, senior figures in the oil and gas industry, and representatives of Aberdeen City Council and the UK Government.

Lord Provost George Adam today welcomed the presidential delegation to Aberdeen ahead of the conference, which gets underway tomorrow [Wednesday].

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

An entire day of the Conference on Infrastructure Development in the Emerging Oil and Gas Sector in Mozambique is dedicated to "The Aberdeen Experience" as the delegates seek to learn how the Granite City secured its place as a world leader in the energy industry. The President clearly enjoying his visit to Aberdeen.

President Guebuza will undertake a number of visits including to the Town House to meet with the Lord Provost and Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure director Gordon McIntosh; the Maritime Museum; Aberdeen Harbour; Robert Gordon University; ASET International Oil & Gas Training Academy; and the University of Aberdeen.

The conference, hosted by Aberdeen City Council and the High Commission of the Republic of Mozambique, aims to arouse the interest of British and international business communities on the huge investment potential in the development of logistics infrastructure for oil and gas in Mozambique.

It also aims to serve as a platform for Mozambican companies to improve their knowledge of business opportunities in the oil and gas industry, attract investment and tap into the UK's wealth of skills and expertise.

Lord Provost George Adam said: "I am delighted to welcome President Armando Emilio Guebuza, five senior ministers and their colleagues to Aberdeen to discuss the new opportunities developing in Mozambique which present huge opportunities for the country.

"This is a very important visit by a prestigious delegation keen to do business with companies in the North-east and learn from our experiences. I wish them every success and am confident the visit and conference will be extremely worthwhile for all participants."

The council's director of Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure Gordon McIntosh said: "Mozambique presents huge opportunities for Aberdeen and the visit of the Presidential delegation underlines our position as a global leader in oil and gas.

Town Sergeants Graham Bennet (L) and Raymond Leiper protect the Lord Provost and President from showers. "There are tremendous opportunities in Mozambique and our visitors have come here to learn from Aberdeen's experience in the past and Aberdeen's expertise in offshore energy and development.

"We've set up a programme of meetings and a series of presentations and seminars during the conference which I am confident will be informative and instructive for all delegates, and made plans to follow-up on the conference by arranging for Aberdeen-based businesses to go out to Mozambique in the coming months. There's been a huge level of interest in the conference and the visit, which reflects the opportunities available to all."

The Lord Provost will give the welcome address on the opening day of the conference and President Guebuza will deliver the keynote speech.

Other speakers and presenters at the high-profile event include: HE Esperenca Bias, Minister of Mineral Resources of Mozambique; Armando Inroga, Minister for Industry and Trade; HE Amelia Nakhare; Deputy Minister for Planning and Development; Eng. Arsenio Mabote, Chairman of the Board of the National Petroleum Institute (ENH); Mr Nelson Ocuane, Chairman of the Board of the National Hydrocarbons Company (ENH); Dr Alex Kemp, Professor of Petroleum Economics and director of the Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance; Subsea UK chief executive Neil Gordon; Balmoral Group managing director James Milne; Aberdeen City Council's director of Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure Gordon McIntosh.

It will also be attended by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell, and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Mark Simmonds. The President was shown around the Maritime Museum by Meredith Greiling,Curator of Maritime History.

The first day of the conference, which is expected to be attended by dozens of firms from Mozambique as well as Aberdeen-based, Scottish and UK firms will see participants register at the AECC, followed by a gala dinner at the Marcliffe Hotel.

The event will get fully underway on Thursday, with Mozambique Day. The focus will be on opportunities in Mozambique, with most speakers coming from the African country. Baroness Lynda Chalker, chair of Africa Matters and the Lord Provost will welcome delegates before officially opening the conference.

The third and final day will focus on the Aberdeen Experience and take the form of a number of seminar workshops led by a number of highly respected academic and industry experts. Gordon McIntosh will give presentations on the Aberdeen story; lessons learned from securing and growing the oil and gas industry in the Granite City; and developing the supply chain. He will be joined by Subsea UK chief executive Neil Gordon, Professor Kemp, and former managing director of McDermott Fergus Robertson. Balmoral Group managing director James Milne will talk about value addition, industrialisation and local content.