Maputo, 17 Mar (AIM) – The consortium led by the French oil and gas company TotalEnergies does not expect to export liquefied natural gas from the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, before 2027, according to a report by the Bloomberg agency.
The consortium plans to build two gas liquefaction plants on the Afungi Peninsula, in the Cabo Delgado district of Palma. But Total withdrew its staff from Afungi, in the wake of a major terrorist attack against the town of Palma in March 2021.
The Mozambican defence forces and their allies from Rwanda and from SADC (Southern African Development Community) subsequently drove the jihadists out of Palma, but it remains unclear when the security situation will be regarded as stable enough to allow work on the LNG project to resume.
“After we resume our activities, we will need another four years to build the factory”, said Stephane Le Galles, director of the TotalEnergies project, during a visit to Afungi.
That means that the export of LNG from Afungi, cannot begin before 2027, at the earliest, said Le Galles.
Nonetheless, he was pleased at the improvement in the security situation around the Afungi perimeter, after the deployment of the Rwandan and SADC forces.
The Afungi LNG project will cost total investment of around 21 billion US dollars, and is regarded as crucial for Mozambique’s future economic growth.
But Le Galles specified as pre-conditions for resuming the project, not only improvements in security, but also the full restoration of the public administration in Palma, and in the neighbouring district of Mocimboa da Praia, and a positive assessment of the human rights situation.
It was impossible to know when these conditions would be met, he said. Nonetheless, he believed that progress is being made “in the right direction”.