Poly-GCL Petroleum Group, part owned by China Poly, plans to spend $4 billion developing gas deposits in eastern Ethiopia, according to the company.

By William Davison (Bloomberg) |

Ethiopian Mineral, Petroleum and Biofuel Corp. (EMBPC) is discussing a partnership with a unit of China Poly Group, the first of a series of deals with foreign investors it’s planning to exploit natural-resource deposits in the country.

State-owned EMPBC, established earlier this year, plans to take minority stakes in extractive operations as one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies strives to become globally competitive in the resource industry, Chief Executive Officer Mulugeta Seid said. Poly-GCL Petroleum Group, part owned by China Poly, plans to spend $4 billion developing gas deposits in the east of the country, according to the company.

ALSO READ Ethiopia, Djibouti and China to Launch $4 Billion Natural Gas Project

“We’ll invite international companies to work with us,” Mulugeta said in an interview Oct. 19 in Addis Ababa, the capital. “We will be the commercial partner of the international companies on behalf of the government.”

Ethiopia exported $2.6 billion of minerals during a five-year growth plan that ended July 7, less than the $2.8 billion targeted in the final year of the program, as global commodity prices plunged. Tullow Oil Plc suspended exploration in the south in 2014, while Israel Chemicals Ltd. exited a $1-billion potash project this month, blaming a dispute with Ethiopia’s tax authority.

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