The prospect of gas, and of customers for it, has sparked a wave of exploration in Mozambique and helped boost two planned industrial corridors - from Beira along the old railway and oil pipeline to the Zimbabwe border, and from Maputo southwards to South Africa. British Petroleum has signed a production-sharing agreement to cover 40,000 square kilometres of seabed in the Zambezi basin north of Beira - with gas the target, we hear. South African mining house JCI has proposed a gas-fed direct- reduction iron (DRI) plant at Beira port, which has already been declared a free-trade zone. JCI told potential investors that its plant would export 2.5 million tonnes a year of hot-briquetted iron to the Far East, claiming to have contracts for 1.5 mn. tonnes a year. But punters may wait to see how Asian demand holds up through the present crisis.
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