Even though few took notice, president Armando Guebuza’s appointment of the former deputy minister for natural resources, Abdul Razak Noormahomed, as governor of Cabo Delgado province in late March was highly strategic in nature.
Guebuza, who plans to stand down after presidential and legislative elections on Oct. 15, is naming figures close to him to jobs that will count in Cabo Delgado, a province of vital importance to Mozambique’s future.
It is currently the only province that can boast huge offshore gas reserves (with the exception of the modest fields of Pende and Temane operated by Sasol off Inhambane province).
Blocks 1 and 4 operated by Anadarko and ENI, with their probable combined resources of 190 TCF, will draw huge investments to Cabo Delgado in terms of port, road, electricity and chemical infrastructure. One of the province’s cities, Palma, is to house liquefaction plants Indeed, both ENI and Anadarko, which are planning to build a liquefaction plant, want to construct a plant in the city. It should begin exporting LNG around 2020.
In a clear sign of the region’s importance, the current defence minister, Filipe Nyusi, who hails from Cabo Delgado, has been chosen by the ruling Frelimo party to take over from Guebuza as president.