Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi hopes to persuade Japan to purchase Mozambican natural gas and to become involved in priority energy projects in Mozambique, says Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Leticia Klemens.

She was speaking to the media here Monday ahead of the arrival of Nyusi for an official visit to the country at the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“On this visit to Japan, we have to present our gas and coal energy resources. We regard Japan as a major client. We need Japan to buy our gas,” said Klemens.

Exploration of the offshore gas fields in the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado, indicate reserves of at least 160 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The known reserves are in areas operated by the Italian energy company ENI and by the Texas-based company, Anadarko.

These discoveries indicate that Mozambique could become the world’s third largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), after Qatar and Australia.

On Tuesday, Nyusi is due to visit Tokyo Gas, which operates the largest natural gas facility in Japan, and supplies piped gas to Tokyo and several other cities, with 11.4 million customers.

Its gas pipeline network extends over 50,000 kilometres long.

The President will visit the Tokyo Gas processing plant and see first-hand how LNG is used to power much of Japan.

Klemens said other areas of high priority for the Mozambican government are the construction of a gas-fired power station at Temane, in the southern province of Inhambane, and a 1,200 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in the western province of Tete.

Coal, however, is regarded as an extremely dirty fuel, and coal-fired power stations are major sources of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are driving climate change. However, Japan claims to have made advances in clean coal technology, preventing the emission into the atmosphere of many of the damaging substances produced in coal consumption.

Nyusi’s visit is part of celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mozambique and Japan. In addition to official discussions with Abe, Nyusi will be received by Emperor Akihito, and will attend a Mozambique-Japan Business Forum.