THE Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) entered into an agreement over the weekend with four firms for provision of services to multinationals engaged in oil and gas exploration in southern Tanzania.
EPZA is developing a 10-ha freeport zone in Mtwara, as part of the 110-ha area designated by the government for investment purposes.
Under the agreement signed in Dar es Salaam, the 10-ha project was being developed into an oil field supply base, where various firms are to be allocated land to set up infrastructure needed to service companies currently engaged in oil and gas exploration.
The firms include UK's British Gas and Noryway's Staoil. The EPZA Director General, Dr Adelhelm Meru, told a news conference during the signing ceremony that the event marked an important stage in the establishment of the oil field supply base.
He listed the four companies as Schlumberger Seaco Inc from the United States, Altus Tanzania Limited of Singapore, Tans Ocean Industries and Services of Dubai and Lenna from Iran.
Three companies will also sign the agreement next week. Dr Meru said the process of engaging the companies started in 2010, after firms involved in gas and oil exploration requested such service providers. "These companies have experience and expertise in the industry," he said.
He said the coming of the multinational companies to serve oil and gas exploration firms in Mtwara would greatly help to stimulate other sectors in the region such as hotels and agriculture.
It is expected that the companies would build huge workshops for servicing gas and oil equipment used in the fields. The modern workshops will also serve neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa.
According to Dr Meru, the companies would bring in the country many benefits including jobs and government revenue.