Work to resume on Mozambique’s mothballed gas project

An Italian subcontractor of French giant TotalEnergies said it was preparing to restart work on a huge gas project in northern Mozambique that had been stopped dead in its tracks in 2021 after a major jihadist attack.
Total has been cautious for months about restarting operations on the €16.5 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Cabo Delgado province, which has been hit by jihadist violence that has already killed more than 4,600 people and displaced a million.
But Saipem, an energy services company in charge of the project’s development, said that following discussions with the French company, it expected operations to resume as early as July. “We are following the indications of TotalEnergies on the resumption plan,” the subcontractor said. “We are told that safety has improved and as soon as the right conditions are met to restart, we will be ready.”
Last month, the head of TotalEnergies Patrick Pouyanne visited the region and met with the Mozambican president. He said he was waiting for the report by writer and former NGO leader Jean-Christophe Rufin to assess the humanitarian situation in the region before “deciding whether the conditions are right for a resumption of activities.
“We are waiting for this report to make a decision,” a Total spokeswoman said on Wednesday. The day before, during the presentation of Saipem’s results, its CEO Alessandro Puliti had said he expected “a gradual resumption of the project, starting in July this year, based on information received by our client” TotalEnergies.
Mozambique has high hopes for the largest natural gas deposits south of the Sahara discovered in 2010 in the north of the country. But attacks by armed groups linked to the Islamic State group have cast doubt on the viability of the project. The deployment in 2021 of Rwanda and neighboring forces helped the army regain control of large areas, but sporadic attacks continue.

About Geraldine Boechat 2766 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia