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Speech by Amb. Dr. LU Youqing on the Inauguration Ceremony Of Natural Gas Infrastructure
2015-10-13 20:27

Dr. Lu Youqing, Ambassador of China

October 10,2015


You Excellency Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It's my great pleasure to attend today's celebration.

To build a natural gas pipeline belonging to the people of Tanzania is a forward-looking strategic decision by Tanzanian government after President Kikwete took office. It is an important step for Tanzanian people to break foreign monopoly in oil and gas industrial chain and to safeguard Tanzanian sovereignty and economic security.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The pipeline is the TAZARA of energy in the new era which reflects the achievement of China-Tanzania practical cooperation in the framework of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation. I remember clearly what President Kikwete has said in the groundbreaking ceremony of the project in November 8, 2012. He said since the completion of pre-feasibility study, President himself and many senior officials of Tanzanian government have visited all the development partners of Tanzania to seek their support in financing and construction. But they all shied away because the project involved huge investment, high technical difficulty and low economic return.

After Tanzanian side put the request to the Chinese side in 2011, the project was attached with top priority and fast-tracked through the green channel. By creating a new financing model, we managed to complete the application and approval procedures of the Chinese preferential loan within one year. This fully demonstrates the China-Tanzania traditional friendship cemented by blood and life can stand the test of time and changes.

This pipeline has written a beautiful chapter of China-Tanzania's common destiny. Since the start of construction work, President Kikwete, Prime Minister Pinda and officials from the Ministry of Energy and Minerals have made joint efforts to ensure the project's smooth progress with high efficiency and strong coordination. During the construction, the local people along the line showed complete understanding and extended warm support. They regarded the Chinese workers as their own brothers and provided invaluable assistance. CPTDC, as the constructor, has created large number of local jobs and trained plenty of Tanzanian people into professional technical personnel of all levels in the related fields. They also did very well in fulfilling Corporate Social Responsibility by digging drinking-water wells, donating for education and offering medical service to local patients which positively solved the production and living difficulties of the people along the pipeline. Their actions further enhanced the family-like relationship between Chinese and Tanzanian people in the new era and won wide applause nationwide in Tanzania.

This is a pipeline that helps Tanzania further expand international communication and cooperation. The project team itself is a "Little United Nations", engineers and technicians from Tanzania, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa and United Kingdom fulfilled their respective duties while enjoying a close cooperation and smooth communication throughout the entire construction process. Hereby, I would like to express special thanks to the engineers from Worly Parson whose strict supervision ensured the key technical indicators of the project stood much higher than the international standards.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

With the launch of the Mtwara-Dar es Salaam natural gas pipeline project, I firmly believe that Tanzania will enjoy even faster economic growth, Tanzanian people's living standard will continue to improve, and China-Tanzania friendly cooperation will reach a new high!

Thank you!

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