Total, Mozambique sign security pact for US$20 billion natural gas project

MOZAMBIQUE – Total, A French oil major, and the government of Mozambique have signed a security pact to support the development of the US$20 billion Mozambique LNG project, amid an insurgency linked to Islamic State.

The parties said in a local press release that a joint task force will ensure the security of Mozambique LNG project activities in the Afungi site, and across the broader area of project operations.

Mozambique LNG, which is led by Total, will provide logistic support to the joint task force. The government said the force will be ensure human rights principles are respected.

Mozambican security forces have been battling militias in the north of the country. Recent violence in the Cabo Delgado region has claimed dozens of lives.

Ronan Bescond, country chair of Total in Mozambique, said all parties involved in the project are committed to enabling steady progress towards a successful delivery of the project.

Construction works at the country’s first onshore liquefied natural gas development had been stalled due to a coronavirus outbreak and lockdown measures. The project is expected to produce its first LNG cargo by 2024, through a two-train liquefaction plant.

“In view of the security situation in the Province of Cabo Delgado, our priority is to ensure the security of our workforce, many of whom residing in neighboring communities, and of the project operations,” he said.

“On behalf of our Area 1 partners, we appreciate the support provided by the government of Mozambique for the secure delivery of the project.”

Mozambique’s energy minister Ernesto Tonela noted the agreement will bolsters security measures and endeavours to create a safe operating environment for partners like Total, which enables their ongoing investment in Mozambican industry, for small and medium enterprise and for our communities.

Total operates the project with a 26.5% stake, alongside ENH (15%), Mitsui (20%), ONGC Videsh (10%), Beas Rovuma Energy Mozambique (10%), BPRL Ventures (10%) and PPTEP (8.5%).

Mozambique LNG is the country’s first onshore LNG development. The project includes the development of the Golfinho and Atum fields located within Offshore Area 1 and the construction of a two-trains liquefaction plant with a capacity of 13.1 million tonnes per year.

The Area 1 contains more than 60 Tcf of gas resources, of which 18 Tcf will be developed with the first two trains. The Final Investment Decision of Mozambique LNG project was announced on June 18, 2019, and the project is expected to come into production by 2024.

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