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Gas paves the way for economic independence in Tanzania

Photo: COWI

​​​COWI consultant Alex Ng´asi in a focus group interview with local residents as part of the site selection process. ​

​A new gas extraction project in Tanzania is among the largest investments ever in Sub-Saharan Africa. Local involvement is to facilitate the country’s increasing independence of development aid. 

Gas extraction is key to developing Tanzania’s economy and independence. Back in 2012, Statoil launched an offshore gas extraction project after finding natural gas reserves off Tanzania’s southern coast. 

COWI Tanzania was chosen by Statoil as partner on the project – not least because COWI’s local anchorage in the country goes back more than 50 years, and because of its pool of local experts. 95 of the 100 employees at COWI’s local office in the country’s commercial capital are Tanzanians. 

Project Manager and Head of Section of Economic, Environmental and Social Management at COWI Tanzania, Jesper Bosse Jønsson, has worked in Tanzania for 15 years and believes the future gas extraction project to be generally positive at all levels. 

“This project has the potential to be a game changer in Tanzania’s course of development,” he says, stressing that the right project anchorage will contribute to decreasing the country’s dependence on foreign development aid. However, the true challenge will be whether Tanzania is able to administrate this new income in a way that benefits a wide group of the population. 

Local involvement is a must 

One of the project’s clear sub-objectives is to secure local anchorage and maintain attention on social and environmental concerns. The Tanzanian national authorities are deeply involved in the project, and local anchorage and ownership are high on the list of objectives.

“So-called local content has never before been this popular with local authorities. Local content means as much local input as possible and thereby using local products, services and labour as much as possible. We’ve got local input and deliver output of high international quality. That’s why we landed the project,” says Bosse Jønsson. 

Last year, Tanzania saw a growth rate of seven per cent, and several large-scale development and infrastructure projects recently kicked off. COWI is involved in a number of projects and continues to expand. 

The Statoil gas extraction project includes a multibillion-dollar investment and will activate thousands of construction workers at the site of the future LNG plant (liquefied natural gas). The final decision to construct an LNG plant is yet to be made, but in cooperation with the Tanzanian government, Statoil is making great progress in reaching a final decision to invest.  

Senior Consultant in COWI Tanzania Navonaeli Kaniki has been involved in many of the Statoil sub-projects. 

“Drawing on local consultants adds high value to the project because we have a fundamental understanding of the local context. This allows us to identify any problems relevant to the project, and consequently provide optimum recommendations. Furthermore, local consultants are able to involve stakeholders at various levels and eliminate language barriers,” she explains.  

According to Bosse Jønsson, local ownership and involvement will secure a large economic gain for the country as a whole, not just the southern regions which will hold the physical facility. 

 
By Rikke Vous Hvidsteen rvhv@cowi.dk

 
Published 16.06.2014​

Facts about the project

- Among other things, the gas project entails establishment of a large LNG plant in the region (liquefied natural gas), which COWI has been involved in since 2012.

- The project includes a multibillion-dollar investment and will activate thousands of construction workers during the establishment of the LNG plant. 

- COWI was involved in the site selection process. The entire coastal area from Dar es Salaam to the border with Mozambique was studied to determine the optimum location for the gas plant, the aim being to minimise the project’s environmental and social impacts. 

- COWI has carried out several EIAs for the projects – offshore as well as onshore. 

- In cooperation with Statoil, COWI has developed a complaint system that ensures that everyone affected by Statoil’s activities will be heard and their complaints treated. 

LAST UPDATED: 16.09.2016