Mozambique finance minister confident TotalEnergies LNG project will be resumed
A decision to restart the TotalEnergies-operated Mozambique LNG project could be taken next spring, as Islamic State-led terrorism has been reduced to modest fighting in other parts of the country, Mozambique's finance minister Max Tonela told Bloomberg September 20.
A force majeure was declared last year at the 12.8mn mt/yr onshore LNG export plant, situated in north Mozambique's coastal Cabo Delgado province, after an attack on the nearby town of Palma. Tonela, who was energy minister previously, now says the decision could be taken in March.
TotalEnergies needs assurances the area is secure in the long term, but as Rwanda has since sent in troops to contain the IS insurgency, preparations are underway for the restart. Fighting is currently reduced to small areas further away from Mozambique LNG's position in the north coast.
Tonela said: "What Total has required is a long-term security assurance. Of course, they have to analyse and take a decision on their own."
Tighter gas markets have created a major opportunity to drum up revenues from Mozambique's LNG liquefaction projects - TotalEnergies-led Mozambique LNG and Eni's Coral LNG offshore. Coral LNG project partner ExxonMobil is building an onshore gas export project in the Area 4 licence area, where Coral LNG is also situated.
Given continued militant violence in parts of the country, both Tonela and Jos Evens, chairman of Exxon's Mozambique division, have said a near term-final investment decision on the shore project is unlikely. Development plans for the Mozambique project are also being revised, potentially to bring carbon capture and storage into the equation at a later date.