Written by zamko // 08/07/2011 // Pinda to launch $800m oil exploration vessel By Correspondent 8th July 2011EmailPrintComments Says govt won`t incur any costs when it begins work in September Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda (Front) inspecting the ship at Geoje Port in Seoul.Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has said that the government will not incur any costs when Poisedon, a marine vessel being built in South Korea for oil and gas exploration along the Tanzanian coast, begins work. He made the remarks here yesterday after inspecting the ship at Geoje Port in Seoul. Pinda, who is expected to inaugurate the vessel today, said experts from Petrobas Company of Brazil are already busy conducting research to identify two areas where the vessel will drill oil and gas in Tanzania. The stage reached so far is a good sign that the investment in Tanzania is possible, the Prime Minister said, promising that the government would do whatever is possible to enhance security when the experts start work to forestall any danger posed by pirates. Briefing the PM on the assembling of the vessel, Petrobas Tanzania Limited executive director Samuel Miranda said they expect the vessel to work on the country's coastline for a total of 20 months. He said they have already spotted two areas on Mafia Island and in Mtwara Region where the vessel will work. Commenting on the need to improve infrastructure, Miranda said so far they have invested USD11m and by December this year the company will have provided USD14m for the development of Mtwara Port. He said the firm has started conducting training for 50 youths in Mtwara Region, adding that those performing well would work on the vessel. "This ship will be based in Mtwara and we expect to start work in early September… we started with special training on oil exploration for 50 youths on July 1, this year," explained Miranda. "The training is being conducted in partnership with the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), Tanzania's Vocational Education Training Authority (VETA), Petrobas and a Brazilian institution (CENAI), which operates like VETA in Tanzania," he noted. The Brazilian firm has meanwhile entered into a contract with four Tanzanian engineers who have undergone short-term training in oil exploration in Brazil and will later study in the UK. David Gray, project manager for the UK-based firm Ocean Rig, which is supervising the building of the vessel, told the PM that the ship, 242 metres long and 52 wide, will cost USD800m. "This is the fourth vessel to be built by the Korean firm for Petrobas. Two ships were taken to Brazil, while the third, Mykonos, will also go to Brazil. The fourth one, Poseidon, will go to Tanzania…it will have the capacity of accommodating 217 beds, health services unit and recreational facilities," he said. Energy and Mineral minister William Ngeleja, who is in the PM's delegation, said ongoing investments in the southern part of Tanzania augur well for the growth of the country's economy, particularly for Lindi and Mtwara regions. "What we need is to see employment opportunities increase for the people in these regions. There would be employment on the land and in water as well as jobs for service providers in hotels and the investors' residences," he said. He said hospitality industry operators would be among the beneficiaries of this huge investment. Challenging leaders in the two regions to be prepared to supervise town planning, Ngeleja said: "They must set aside industrial, residential and recreational areas so that there will be no chaotic planning in the near future." "Congestion must not be allowed to happen if the leaders are prepared because they are aware of the huge investment that is going to take place in the regions," he added. The minister said Mtwara Port would be developed thanks to various forthcoming economic activities, including electricity production from gas, the construction of fertiliser and cement factories and the petrochemicals commonly used in such factories. "There is ample opportunity for exportation owing to production of liquefied natural gas. This is expected to improve the economic development of the regions substantially," he noted.