TotalEnergies’ has said that the $20billion LNG export facility it is handling in Mozambique would not start operations until 2027 at the earliest.

This is not withstanding if the French supermajor quickly lifts the force majeure on the works and proceed with development. While on a visit to the construction site in North Eastern Mozambique, TotalEnergi3es project director, Stephanie Le Galles, told Bloomberg, “From the time we restart to production, we need another four years to build the facility.”

According to her, exports from the plant could start “2027 at the best.”
TotalEnergies suspended works on the project in 2021 following Islamist militant attacks in towns close to the site. The project site is close to the town of Palma in the Cabo Delgado province, where Islamic State-affiliated militants have been active for a few years.

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In the spring of 2021, Islamic State-affiliated militants raided the town of Palma in attacks that left dozens of people killed. TotalEnergies has yet to decide when to resume the project, with several conditions needed for a positive decision, Le Galles said.

Those include the same project costs, an improved security situation, Mozambique government officials returning to the towns of Palma and Mocimboa da Praia, and an assessment of the human rights conditions in the Cabo Delgado province.

Last month, TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné visited Cabo Delgado and entrusted Jean-Christophe Rufin, an expert in humanitarian action and human rights, with an independent mission to assess the humanitarian situation in the province.

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Saipem, the Italian engineering group, which is a subcontractor for TotalEnergies in the Mozambique project, expects to “gradually restart” work on the project, “according to the information received by our clients, starting from July this year,” Saipem’s CEO Alessandro Puliti said on an earnings call at the end of February.

While insurgents and attacks have stalled TotalEnergies’ project in Mozambique, Italy’s Eni in November started Mozambique’s first LNG exports from the Coral gas field in the ultra-deep waters of the Rovuma Basin.

By Ken Okoye

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