TDA provides grants for South African infrastructure projects

Sep 13, 2002 02:00 AM

US Trade and Development Agency (TDA) Director Thelma J. Askey and US Ambassador to South Africa Cameron Hume will participate in a grant signing ceremony and reception to celebrate the opening of TDA's Africa Regional Office in Johannesburg at the Ronald H. Brown Commercial Centre in Illovo, Johannesburg.
Director Askey will open the reception and deliver welcoming remarks to the audience via video conference from Washington, DC. She noted, "TDA's investment of over $ 1.4 mm (R 14.7 mm) in grants for these four project planning activities reflects the continued commitment of the United States to partner with South Africa in the development of its natural gas resources.”
“We believe that subsea natural gas will spur the economic development of South Africa, provide a more environmentally friendly fuel source for the country, and result in the creation of thousands of jobs in internationally competitive industries in the Cape Provinces."

During the grant signing ceremony, Ambassador Hume and John McIntyre, the Managing Director of Forest Exploration International South Africa, will sign an agreement whereby TDA and Forest Oil Corporation of Denver, Colorado, each agree to contribute $ 650,104 (R 6,826,092) to a $ 1.3 mm (R 13.65 mm) feasibility study.
In the study, Forest Oil will examine the offshore extraction, transmission and processing infrastructure necessary to provide gas from the Ibhubesi gas field to the South African coast. Forest Oil, its US partner Anschutz, and Mvelaphanda Energy have been developing the Ibhubesi reserves since 1998 and remain committed to serving South Africa's demand for natural gas.

Ambassador Hume will also represent the US Government at the signing ceremony in concluding two TDA grants with PetroSA totalling $ 455,300 (R 4,780,650) for economic modelling and implementation strategy consultancies examining the onshore natural gas infrastructure necessary to deliver subsea gas to industrial and residential consumers from Saldanha Bay to the Eastern Cape Province.
PetroSA has been designated by the South African Government to facilitate the delivery of natural gas to the Western and Eastern Cape, thus expanding and diversifying energy and industrial production in that region. PetroSA's CEO Mpumelelo Tshume will sign the grant agreement on behalf of PetroSA.

A final TDA grant agreement will be signed by Dr Paul Jourdan, CEO of Mintek, and Ambassador Hume, on behalf of the US Government, to provide $ 364,000 (R 3,822,000) to fund a US engineering consultant to examine the technical, financial, economic, and environmental factors affecting the development of hot-briquetted iron (HBI) manufacturing facilities in South Africa.
Given its iron resources and the pending supply of Atlantic natural gas, South Africa is uniquely positioned to supply competitively HBI -- a key input for high-end steel production -- to worldwide markets. HBI facilities would either be located at Sishen or Saldanha Bay, pending an economic analysis of both sites.
This project represents TDA's second grant award to Mintek this year, as both parties seek to promote export revenue and employment generating mineral beneficiation projects in South Africa. A reception will follow the grant signings to celebrate the recent opening of TDA's Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa, located at the Ronald H. Brown Commercial Centre in Illovo, Johannesburg.

President George W. Bush directed TDA to open a Johannesburg office as part of the US Government's continued efforts to increase trade and investment with Africa. TDA's Johannesburg office is one of only four the agency has opened worldwide and represents the first US Government trade finance office on the African continent. In addition to its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, TDA has offices in Ankara, Turkey; Zagreb, Croatia; and Bangkok, Thailand.
This year, TDA will provide nearly $ 13 mm (R 136.5 mm) in feasibility study grants for African projects. This amount represents a record level of commitments for TDA in Africa. Lance Ludman is TDA's Manager for Business Development for Africa and the primary point of contact at the Johannesburg office.

The US Trade and Development Agency promotes American private sector participation in developing and middle-income countries, with special emphasis on economic sectors that represent significant US export potential.
By funding various forms of technical assistance, training grants, feasibility studies, orientation visits, and business workshops, TDA helps American businesses compete for infrastructure projects in emerging markets. In addition, the agency promotes capacity building initiatives and supports US government trade, economic policy and development objectives around the world.

Source: US Trade and Development Agency/All Africa Global Media
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