Sharing progress and prospects with stakeholders in Tanzania
In November 2016, BG Tanzania, a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, held its Bi-Annual Stakeholder Roundtable session in Dar es Salaam. Over a hundred stakeholders from the Tanzania government, private sector, donor community, civil society, and faith-based organisations joined together to discuss BGs activities in Tanzania.
The purpose of this event was to offer an open, effective and transparent platform for sharing knowledge, and hearing feedback on BG’s activities and its contribution to Tanzania’s development. For example, the audience saw how BG Tanzania’s exploration work in Blocks 1 and 4 was progressing. They also learnt what it takes to develop a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant project. And there was also a discussion on how BG’s social investment programmes have been designed to support government efforts in optimising local participation in the oil and gas sector.
Encouraging local participation
As part of BG Tanzania’s commitment to promoting local employment, there are a number of initiatives in place that aim to improve the skills of local people. This will ensure local communities are empowered to take advantage of the opportunities that exist within and around the oil and gas sector. Getting to see the potential opportunities in the LNG plant, onshore support facilities and offshore operations, helped the audience to visualise these prospects.
Developing the oil and gas sector in Tanzania will bring positive change for the people and economy of the country, and BG Tanzania is contributing to this goal. To date, BG Tanzania, together with various partners, has helped to improve the quality and standards of training in two vocational education centres located close to the project footprints in the southern regions. These centres provide training to young people in various vocational disciplines that are relevant to the oil and gas industry and its associated value chain. And opportunities for students to gain internships and practical experience is increasing thanks to accreditation from City & Guilds.
The oil and gas life cycle
Showing the life cycle of the native cashew tree was helpful in illustrating the development of the LNG plant project. Using this example from agriculture, the audience saw that, like a cashew tree, the LNG plant project takes time to mature, requires the right conditions, sufficient upfront investment and needs carefully designed strategies to maximise yield. This analogy helped the audience to imagine how much longer it would take to cultivate cashew nuts, or develop an LNG plant, if they had no previous experience.
The open nature of the event continued with the audience asking specific questions on the benefits the project will deliver as well as wanting to know more about the project milestones.
In concluding this informative and lively day, BG Tanzania reiterated their commitment to working with the Government of Tanzania on a feasibility study to develop an LNG plant project, which is a priority for the Government.
Summing up the day, one event participant from the private sector commented “With the project updates we received today, and elaborations on current and future business opportunities associated with the project, it is clear that there will be lots of opportunities. But we need to get prepared in terms of having the right skills and working capital. We shall definitely need more sessions like this one which will ensure we are always aware of what is going on and that we are not left behind.”