Mozambique Seeks Local Buyers for 10% Pemba Gas Terminal Stake

Mozambique’s state-owned investment bank, Banco Nacional de Investimento, is seeking domestic buyers for a 10 percent stake in a logistics terminal for the gas industry at Pemba, in the country’s northeast.

The stake is being sold by ENH Logistics, a subsidiary of state-owned oil and gas company Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, or ENH, Muhamud Matsinhe, a spokesman for ENH, said by phone today in Maputo, capital of the southeast African country.

Mozambique is attempting to become a major natural gas exporter by exploiting discoveries made in the Rovuma basin off the northern coast. ENH Logistics, a unit of the state oil company set up to build the infrastructure needed to bring the gas ashore, is selling one fifth of its 50 percent stake in the Pemba terminal, estimated to require $150 million to construct.

A 30-year concession to run the terminal is owned by Portos de Cabo Delgado, or PCD, a joint venture between ENH Logistics and Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique, operator of the country’s ports and railways. PCD holds a similar 30-year concession for a terminal at Palma, some 250km north of Pemba, near the border with Tanzania.

The stake will be made available only to Mozambican investors, in keeping with a government objective to keep as much ownership of the country’s natural resources wealth in local hands as possible. The question of foreign ownership has been prominent in campaigns for presidential and parliamentary elections due next month.

ENHL Logistics has sub-contracted the building and operation of the gas terminal to a special purpose vehicle, ENHIL, in which it owns 51 percent. The rest of ENHIL is controlled by a Nigerian company, Orlean Invest, which joined the project in April along with Sonangol Integrated Logistic Services as a technical partner.

The process of finding a private partner for ENHIL was criticized by Mozambique’s Centre for Public Integrity, a think tank, for being rushed and opaque. The state oil company said that running a public tender would have taken too long and delayed development of the gas field.

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