David Mundell is to visit Mozambique next month, as part of a move to forge a new trading partnership between Aberdeen and the town of Pemba.
The Scottish Secretary will formally announce the move during a visit to Aberdeen tomorrow (Thursday 28 January) when he will meet representatives of the offshore industry and Aberdeen City Council.
The city has longstanding links with Mozambique and has been driving forward partnerships between the country and oil and gas companies in the north east of Scotland.
However, it wants to build on that with a formal memorandum of understanding between Aberdeen and Pemba, which is in the north east of Mozambique, underpinned by an action plan designed to help Pemba create a local oil and gas hub based on the Aberdeen model.
Mozambique contains huge reserves of offshore natural gas, and is expected to become a major global producer in coming years. Aberdeen City Council has been awarded a £120,000 grant from the Foreign Office to help draw up the action plan for the Pemba hub.
The action plan will help boost much-needed growth and investment in Mozambique. It will also open up significant opportunities in consulting, supply chain, logistics and training for British companies, particularly those based in Scotland.
The Aberdeen oil and gas hub model, built on lessons learned from 40 years of North Sea operation, sets the highest standards in governance, transparency, value for money, quality and environmental responsibility.
As well as opening up opportunities for British companies supplying the north sea oil and gas sector, the scheme will also help Mozambique develop its extensive offshore oil and gas resources.
Speaking ahead of his Aberdeen visit, Mr Mundell said:
Aberdeen’s link-up with Mozambique is a win-win for both sides. Mozambique can learn a huge amount from Aberdeen’s oil and gas hub model, and its associated experience and expertise. At the same time, Scottish companies will be able to bid for new work and contracts out in Mozambique.
I am very much looking forward to meeting Aberdeen City Council and hearing more about their work with Mozambique, and it will be a great honour to visit Mozambique to help push forward the deal between Pemba and Aberdeen.
Our oil and gas sector has huge expertise to share. This deal will also bring fantastic opportunities for British companies working in the Scottish oil and gas sector to win new contracts supporting Pemba’s growing offshore industry.
Councillor Jenny Laing, Leader of Aberdeen City Council, which has been driving the Pemba initiative said:
I very much welcome the visit to Mozambique by David Mundell. It will help reinforce the commitment of the UK to supporting Aberdeen and its industries.
There are huge opportunities in the oil and gas fields off Mozambique and this link between Aberdeen and Pemba will help the government there develop their potential, while providing opportunities for companies here to export their products, protecting and creating jobs in the north east and beyond.
During his trip to Aberdeen Mr Mundell will visit Bibby Offshore, a subsea services provider to the oil and gas industry.