Lindi residents reap benefits of envisioned LNG project

IMPLEMENTATION of the long-awaited Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant in Lindi Region is taking a new shape with Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) set to undertake various social and economic projects for residents who were relocated from the site of the envisaged project.

Some 674 residents in Likong’o village in the region have already been paid compensations amounting to 5.7bn/- to pave the way for the construction of the US 40 billion dollars (about 92tri/-) whose final Host Government Agreement (HGA) is expected to be signed in the near future.

According an official of TPDC, Engineer Koleta Selsi, the relocated residents will benefit from various development projects in agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing, infrastructure and businesses development in areas, where they have been relocated.

This was revealed during a recent meeting between the TPDC officials and Lindi Regional Commissioner (RC), Ms Zainabu Telack.

The TPDC officials, accompanied by representatives from companies involved in the LNG project which are Shell and Equinor ASA, visited the RC to introduce an independent upstream consultancy company for oil and gas industry known as RSK Environmental Tanzania.

The independent consultant will conduct an assessment and eventually come up with recommendations on the appropriate social and economic projects, which are suitable for the relocated households from Likong’o village.

Speaking during the meeting, the Director of RSK, Mr Jesper Johnson, explained that the development projects were aimed at ensuring restoration of economic and social activities for families, which were relocated from the site of the envisaged LNG plant.

“The development projects will take three years and we will start with identifying beneficiaries alongside their needs and activities in reference to the projects to be implemented.

For her part, Ms Telack asked TPDC and other stakeholders involved in the mega project to ensure that the social and economic development projects consider specific needs of the beneficiaries.

“The involved parties should also consider smooth implementation of the projects to benefit all people who were relocated from their land to pave the way for the LNG project,” she emphasized.

Tanzania is set to start reaping economic and social benefits from project in the year 2025 when the Final Investment Decision (FID) is expected to be signed.

The Director General of Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (PURA), Eng Charles Sangweni, told ‘Daily News’ in a telephone interview recently that the government is currently drafting the final Host Government Agreement (HGA).

The initial HGA was signed between the government of Tanzania and investors involved in the mega project in June, last year, during a ceremony which was witnessed by President Samia Suluhu Hassan at Chamwino State House in Dodoma.

“We are now finalising the process of drafting the final HGA, these are legal documents and hence there is a need to have clear interpretation of all provisions of the agreement.

“If all goes as planned, we expect to sign the final HGA by February this year to pave the way for signing of the final investment decision by 2025,” Eng Sangweni explained.

Once the FID is inked in 2025, construction work for the project is expected to kick off in the same year after which production and exports of natural gas to global markets will start by 2030.

Speaking during the World AIDS Day on December 1, last year, in Lindi Region, President Samia said the government has had fruitful discussions with investors involved in the project.

“We have had fruitful discussions with the investors and I have met some of them in separate occasions. The signing of the final HGA is crucial for the implementation of the project.

“I call upon residents in Lindi Region to accord maximum cooperation to the investors to facilitate smooth implementation of the venture,” Dr Samia said then, while addressing a public rally at Ilulu grounds in the region.

President Samia assured residents in the gas-rich region that the LNG project will play a crucial role in creating jobs and bolstering development of Lindi and Mtwara regions.

“The LNG project will take some time before it starts production and as such you should cooperate with the investors to enable them to undertake the project smoothly,” she appealed.

The initial HGA was signed between the government of Tanzania on one hand and investors of the project on the other. They include Shell and Equinor ASA companies, who are the main partners in implementation of the project.

Other investors who are partners of the multi-million project which is one of its kind in Tanzania include ExxonMobil, and Pavilion Energy.

Speaking after signing of the initial agreement, the Minister for Energy, Mr January Makamba, said the project will change the image of the country’s economy and will be carried out in parallel with the development of infrastructure on the petroleum upstream sector to facilitate harvesting of the resource.

Minister Makamba noted that during the construction of the project which is expected to span for between four and six years, a total of 10,000 temporary jobs are expected to be created, while 500 permanent jobs will be generated after its completion.

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