Japan wants gas and uranium from Namibia start trade in Namibia’s uranium

Japan wants gas and uranium from Namibia start trade in Namibia’s uranium

THE scramble for natural resources in southern Africa is in full swing with Japanese investors looking for opportunities in Namibia’s uranium sector.

After delegations of Russia and China visited Namibia earlier this year to vie for investment possibilities, Itochu of Japan looks set to join the scramble. “We are the second largest trader in world uranium,” Itochu Chief Operations Officer in energy development, Yoshio Matsukawa told reporters after a meeting with the Speaker of Parliament, Theo-Ben Gurirab yesterday.”We are interested in investment and development of the Namibian uranium sector,” he added, but did not disclose further details.The Namibian Government has placed a moratorium on the issuing of uranium exploration licences recently, after a flood of interest shown by international companies.”We can hopefully make a proposal (regarding uranium investment) to the Namibian Government on this issue, which they might accept,” Matsukawa said.Roessing Uranium in the Erongo Region already exported uranium to Japan before Independence.Since 2004, Roessing also exports to China.According to Matsukawa, Itochu has recently formed a joint venture with Japan’s Jogmec (Japan Oil & Gas), a state-owned company.This special purpose venture is called CIECO-Namibia, with Itochu holding 51 per cent and Jogmec 49 per cent.Investments in Namibia will be facilitated through this joint venture.Itochu is also interested in Namibia’s offshore Kudu gas field.In April this year, Itochu bought a 20 per cent stake in Britain’s Tullow Oil, which had 90 per cent ownership in the Kudu gas field.The price was N$315 million (US$44 million).”We are busy drilling two appraisal wells to test the gas reserves,” Matsukawa said yesterday.”We are the second largest trader in world uranium,” Itochu Chief Operations Officer in energy development, Yoshio Matsukawa told reporters after a meeting with the Speaker of Parliament, Theo-Ben Gurirab yesterday.”We are interested in investment and development of the Namibian uranium sector,” he added, but did not disclose further details.The Namibian Government has placed a moratorium on the issuing of uranium exploration licences recently, after a flood of interest shown by international companies.”We can hopefully make a proposal (regarding uranium investment) to the Namibian Government on this issue, which they might accept,” Matsukawa said.Roessing Uranium in the Erongo Region already exported uranium to Japan before Independence.Since 2004, Roessing also exports to China.According to Matsukawa, Itochu has recently formed a joint venture with Japan’s Jogmec (Japan Oil & Gas), a state-owned company.This special purpose venture is called CIECO-Namibia, with Itochu holding 51 per cent and Jogmec 49 per cent.Investments in Namibia will be facilitated through this joint venture.Itochu is also interested in Namibia’s offshore Kudu gas field.In April this year, Itochu bought a 20 per cent stake in Britain’s Tullow Oil, which had 90 per cent ownership in the Kudu gas field.The price was N$315 million (US$44 million).”We are busy drilling two appraisal wells to test the gas reserves,” Matsukawa said yesterday.

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