Oil firm TotalEnergies has postponed for another two years – i.e. 2026 – the forecast for the production of liquefied natural gas in Cabo Delgado, the northern region of Mozambique currently under armed conflict, according to a recent note sent to investors.
The previous forecast pointed to 2024, but since last March, after the terrorist occupation of the village of Palma, near the project’s exploration site, TotalEnergies has decided to suspend operations indefinitely.
At the time, the company pointed to a year of suspension, returning when safety was guaranteed.
Adriano Maleiane, Mozambique’s Economy and Finance minister, said yesterday at the Forum on Resilience in Africa, in Abidjan, that the recovery could even happen sooner.
After the resumption of activity, the main civil works and installation of technologies should begin. The first gas shipment by sea, which would open the doors to initial revenues, is now scheduled for 2026.
The venture is the largest private investment underway in Africa, worth upwards of US$20 billion.
Cabo Delgado province is rich in natural gas, but has been under conflict since 2017, with some attacks claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.
The conflict has already caused more than 3,100 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project, and more than 817,000 displaced, figures from the Mozambican authorities.
Since July, an offensive by government troops, with principal support being offered by Rwanda, and to a lesser extent by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), security is being slowly restored in the region. The military intervention has recovered several areas where there was a presence of rebels, namely the town of Mocímboa da Praia, which had been occupied since August 2020.