Dr Salimo Abdula on oil production in Mozambique | Intelec Holdings | Video

World Finance interviews Dr Salimo Abdula, chairman of Intelec Holdings, on oil production in Mozambique

April 2, 2014

Mozambique is due to become an oil producing country this year, while significant progress is also expected in natural gas and coal production. Chairman of Intelec Holdings, Dr Salimo Abdula, talks about Mozambique’s many opportunities.

World Finance: Well Salimo, let’s start with how the economy is developing in your country.

Dr Salimo Abdula: Mozambique is a land of opportunity. The geographical location and population, our wealth, and the land, and hydrology are our main resource. The country’s economy is developing through the power of the land, which is ripe for agriculture, which helps to feed the families and produces exports. Also mineral resource and the new gas sector are helping to bolster the economy, along with tourism and the natural resource of the land and sea. According to the World Bank, Mozambique’s economy will grow from seven percent in 2013 to 8.5 percent in 2014-2015. An influx of foreign investment is contributing to this. Finally, we have a young population who are the driving force behind the developing of the country.

World Finance: So how is Intelec Holdings involved in this development?

Dr Salimo Abdula: Since 1996, we have invested wherever business opportunity exists, although energy and telecoms remain our core business. In the energy sector, we are helping to light Mozambique through our companies. I must name Electro Sul, Electrotec, and Aberdare Cables, the three examples. We are involved in different energy contracts of high, medium and low voltage power generation, and also we have a factory of electricity meters. In the mining sector, we were involved in five bids on behalf of our group Intelec, but we were successful in one of them. This will be our first foray into mining.

[W]e have invested wherever business opportunity exists, although energy and telecoms remain our core business

Now we are working to find a partnerships with a technical and financial capacity to work with us. Recently we invested in an agro-business project in the centre and north of Moazambique. It offers a new way for agriculture, contributing to employment, education, etc. Through one of our companies called Himbac, Intelec is involved in a project denominated MoPetCo, Mozambique Petrochemical Company, a project that intends to install and operate a petrochemical complex to produce fertilisers and chemicals, to produce also gasoline from natural gas as raw materials, to be sold in the domestic and foreign markets.

World Finance: Well Mozambique is going to become an oil producer in 2014, so what does this mean for the country?

Dr Salimo Abdula: In the sort term, it means more employment and education. It will also mean the reduction of external dependence in terms of oil and price variation in the world market. In general, however, I think it means that the country is moving towards financial independence.

World Finance: Well I think the question then that most people want answering is, in reality how safe is it invest in Mozambique?

Dr Salimo Abdula: Official statistics show that foreign investment, particularly that from 2012-2013, big projects in the oil and gas sector and mineral resources were most popular. This foreign investment show that confidence is rising for investment here. The big challenge is the legal aspect and bureaucracy. It is safe to invest in Mozambique, but I advise to do it through a local partnership, to gain available local knowledge and avoid unnecessary wasted time and money, because we have a different business culture.

World Finance: I have heard you say that Mozambique will act as a model for Africa, what did you mean by this?

Dr Salimo Abdula: In terms of peace and development. In terms of peace, we have solved our problems through dialogue. Our new challenge is to maintain our development, but dialogue remains our main weapon. In terms of development, our economy is based on agriculture, and supporting sectors such as the fishing and mineral industry. The mining and oil and gas sector is booming. The country has improved its agriculture and is still investing in this sector. It will be a mistake if we reduce investment in alternative sectors. Their potential is still unexploited, so Mozambique is acting at the right time.

The potential of oil and gas was always the same as tourism but now is the time to capitalise on it

The potential of oil and gas was always the same as tourism but now is the time to capitalise on it. We are also investing in our transport system and infrastructure, roads and railways, to enable transportation of products such as coal to the ports and the rest of the world.

World Finance: Well finally Salimo, you have been with Intelec Holdings for 17 years now, you are actually one of the founders of this company, so what’s your vision for the future?

Dr Salimo Abdula: Intelec has been involved in many investments, most of which have been successful. We pay attention to all business opportunities, even in the ones where we already based. Using this philosophy Intelec has developed a greater knowledge of the internal market in terms of continuity, we invest in the country and the rich manpower this represents.

World Finance: Salimo, thank you.

Dr Salimo Abdula: Thank you.