The remote town of Tete, situated in the centre-west part of Mozambique, is the heart of the country’s new coal mining industry. The area around the town has some of the world’s richest coal reserves.
Rajat Kohli, Standard Bank’s global head of mining and metals, called it the world’s last substantial untapped coal reserve. “About 100 million tons per annum of coal could be produced within the next five years, and that figure could even go further,” he said at a conference last year.
Mining companies operating in Tete Province’s Moatize basin include Rio Tinto as well as Brazil’s Vale.
The coal mines are linked via rail to the port of Beira. Brazilian mining giant Vale has also announced plans to build a railway line from its Moatize mine to the north-western port of Nacala to export coal.
Tete is booming due to mining activity in the area. However, according to Abrahamse, the town has very few formal supermarkets and hotels, creating significant opportunities for more developments. Carlson Rezidor has announced that it will soon launch its new Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Tete.
Pemba is a port city in northern Mozambique. It is traditionally known as a tourist destination, but these days Pemba is an important centre for northern Mozambique’s offshore natural gas fields in the Rovuma basin.
US-based Anadarko Petroleum and Italian oil & gas company Eni, have both recently announced significant gas discoveries in their respective blocks. These discoveries are important because of the size of the reserves as well as Mozambique’s relative proximity to markets in Asia. “This is rather close to the largest potential market for liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is Asia. It is easier to export from offshore Mozambique to Asia than it is from many other places,” Adi Karev, global oil & gas leader at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, told How we made it in Africa in an interview earlier this year.
Abrahamse says that Pemba, as is the case with the other towns mentioned in this article, has a lack of accommodation and retail facilities. “An example of the problem with Pemba is there is one five-star lodge that is booked out by the oil companies. The interesting story there is that post the 2008/2009 financial crisis the resorts were struggling, but since they found gas there, these hotels and lodges have been booked out by people working on the gas fields.”