RBR progressing with training operations in Mozambique
Resource, construction and oil and gas service provider RBR Group, which has operations in Mozambique, reports that its Palma training, labour and general corporate administration operations are progressing, while its Wentworth training and operations base’s refurbishment is reaching finalisation.
Security has been upgraded at the Wentworth facility, as has connection to the electricity grid. New water reticulation and sewerage connections are also being installed.
The buildings are being repurposed to suit RBR’s needs and all the requisite office and training equipment is in place or awaiting delivery.
The refurbishment and upgrade activities have been undertaken by RBR on behalf of the Wentworth leaseholder, including using local workers hired, trained and supervised by RBR.
Although the Joba Construction Skills Internship Programme has started, RBR reports that the contractual work to date has been focused on completing the agreed upgrades to the Wentworth camp, which is co-funded under the contract.
RBR has started the recruitment of interns, who are graduates of the Total-sponsored Catalisa work readiness programme, from the stakeholder communities. The training of the interns is due to start mid-July, with RBR stating that its revenues will reflect this activity accordingly.
In terms of the impact of Covid-19, RBR points out that the country has been only modestly impacted by the pandemic, to date. As at July 6, there were a total of 987 cases, of which 723 were active.
The initial outbreak was on the Afungi peninsula where the liquid natural gas (LNG) projects are being developed.
Total, the lead developer of the $23-billion Mozambique LNG onshore project, has declared the site to be free of infection and RBR states that there is cautious optimism that improvements in hygiene and the implementation of transmission prevention measures will keep this region free of infection.
Contractors are returning to the LNG construction site camps and resuming their activities.
RBR notes that the Mozambique government departments have resumed partial operations, which in turn enables the company’s Futuro Business Services (FBS) to restart its activities in processing various permits for clients. A portion of FBS’s services involve visa and work permit processing which will recover in tandem with expatriates returning to the country, and a resumption in international travel.
In this regard, RBR notes that Mozambique will authorise international flights with selected countries and on a reciprocal basis, intending to respond to the need for specialists, managers, and investors to boost tourism and business.
LNG & OPPORTUNITIES
RBR states that oil and petrochemical companies Eni and Total-led consortia developing their two LNG projects intend to maintain their schedules, with Total recently reaffirming its commitment to deliver first gas from its project in 2024.
Total’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor CCS JV is preparing quarantine sites in Palma so that any people who become infected with Covid-19 or another contagious disease can be quarantined without hindering activities at site.
RBR states that one positive consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has limited global and regional travel, will be a greater reliance on local upskilling and employment in place of expatriate workers, which is aligned with RBR’s business model.
Meanwhile, RBR also points out that the UK government has agreed up to $1-billion in financing for a gas pipeline in Mozambique. The loan guarantee is one of the “biggest single fossil fuel investments” made by the export credit agency UK Export Finance, according to RBR.
In this regard, RBR highlight that its training subsidiary, Futuro Skills Mozambique, as a provider of UK-accredited training, through the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, is well-placed to secure a slice of the local training that will be needed to execute this capital project.