The economist for the African department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Thibault Lemaire told media on Sunday that he expects the consortiums led by France’s TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil to start production in 2027 and 2029, respectively.
The start of production of two liquefied natural gas exploration projects onshore is expected in 2027 and 2029, which will have a positive impact on growth via production, tax revenues and the current account, said the IMF economist, taking for granted that France’s TotalEnergies will return to Mozambique, after suspending work due to violence in the north of the country, and that US company ExxonMobil will soon move forward with a positive Final Investment Decision for Mozambique.
The country “continues to face significant development challenges, particularly due to the increased frequency and severity of natural disasters related to climate change,” said Thibault Lemaire, in statements, following the release of the report on forecasts for sub-Saharan Africa, presented as part of the recent Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank.
After the 4.1% registered in 2022, an acceleration from the 2.3% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021, already following the worst phase of the pandemic, and with recoveries in the hotel, transport and communications sectors, the IMF expects an acceleration in economic expansion.
“For 2023, and in the medium term, we expect a further recovery, the 5% growth in 2023 will be driven by the extractive industries, including Coral South, the first liquefied natural gas project,” whose first export was already made late last year, it pointed out.
Mozambique has three development projects approved to exploit the natural gas reserves in the Rovuma basin, classified among the largest in the world, off the coast of Cabo Delgado.
Two of these projects are larger and provide for channeling the gas from the seabed to land, cooling it in a plant to export it by sea in a liquid state.