The President of the Republic of Mozambique, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, has dismissed the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Pedro Conceição Couto, from the position via presidential order.
The office of the President informed the media on Thursday morning that the measure was taken within the powers of the Head of State granted to him by the Constitution.
Pedro Couto was the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy since January 2015 when President Nyusi formed his government following the presidential elections in October 2014.
Couto has a Masters in Economics from the University of Glasgow. During his professional career, Couto was part of the group that drafted the Five Year Plan 2005-2009 and was the co-principal author of the Plan of Action for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty for the period 2001-2005. He also led the team that created the proposed accession of Mozambique to the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
Couto is a Member of the University Council of EMU and a member of the National Higher Education Council for Science and Technology.
The dismissal of the Minister comes at a time when major companies are looking to negotiate developments of large offshore gas projects in the country.
In recent years, companies like Eni, ExxonMobil, Statoil others have discovered huge gas deposits and are closing in on the development of those prospects.
Namely, in February Eni announced the approval of the Plan of Development for the first phase in the Coral discovery, located in the Area 4 permit off Mozambique, with the final investment decision reportedly expected to be made on October 31.
The Plan of Development, the very first one to be approved in the Rovuma Basin, foresees the drilling and completion of 6 subsea wells and the construction and installation of a technologically advanced Floating LNG facility, the capacity of which will be around 3.4 MTPA.
In July, Samsung Heavy Industries was reported to have ‘virtually secured’ a $2.5 billion order for an FLNG unit from Eni for the Mozambique development. Reports said that a said that a firm deal would be signed in October.
Offshore Energy Today Staff