Total Airlifts Staff from Mozambique LNG Site
Terrorist activity near Total's Mozambique LNG construction site in late 2020 has forced the French company to suspend work in the province of Cabo Delgado and evacuate staff.
It said in a statement late January 6: "In view of the evolving security situation in Cabo Delgado province and in the district of Palma, Total E&P Mozambique Area 1, operator of the Mozambique LNG project, has decided to reduce the number of personnel present at the Afungi site. The demobilisation process is under way in an organised manner and in conformity with established protocols.
"Total is following the development of the security situation in northern Mozambique with the greatest attention, in conjunction with the Mozambican authorities, and is taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of its staff and its subcontractors."
The company said January 4 that it decided to reduce the number of personnel present at the Afungi site, which has been estimated at 3,000.
It is in the government's interests to crush the uprising, which is already over three years old, as soon as possible on economic as well as humanitarian grounds: it is pinning its hopes of emerging from poverty on revenues from exports of natural gas from its vast offshore resource. There are two projects underway, while a third, led by US major ExxonMobil, is awaiting final investment decision.
Total and Maputo entered a security pact last August, the month that the rebels took the port of Mocimboa da Praia, a key logistics hub. There they remain, defying the national army's attempts to dislodge them. Late last year, the rebels, allied with Islamic State, took over some nearby towns and beheaded about 50 people, according to several reports.