Minister sees conditions in place for TotalEnergies’ return by year-end

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Minister sees conditions in place for TotalEnergies’ return by year-end
Minister sees conditions in place for TotalEnergies’ return by year-end

Africa-Press – Mozambique. Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Carlos Zacarias promised today that, by the end of this year, all conditions for the resumption of Total’s natural gas project, suspended due to the war in Cabo Delgado will be in place.

“From our point of view, we expect that this year all the conditions will be created to guarantee and convince the concessionaires to resume activities,” Carlos Zacarias told journalists on the sidelines of the seventh Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy coordinating council.

The minister asserted that the security situation in Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique, which hosts the natural gas exploitation projects, “has changed radically” against the armed groups active in the region since October, 2017.

“Of course, any resumption of activities will depend on the specific perception of each concessionaire regarding safety conditions,” Minister Zacarias conceded.

TotalEnergies, whose consortium is to invest more than US$20 billion in natural gas exploration in northern Mozambique, suspended development of the project in the region following a rebel attack near project infrastructure in Palma district, Cabo Delgado province in 2021.

Palma was the target of one of the most publicised attacks carried out by the rebels terrorizing the province of Cabo Delgado for almost five years, when on March 24, 2021, insurgents invaded the district headquarters town, killing and wounding dozens and causing thousands of people to flee.

Cabo Delgado province, in northern Mozambique, is rich in natural gas, but has been terrorized since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), about 784,000 persons have been internally displaced by the conflict, which has killed about 4,000, according to the ACLED conflict registry project.

Since July 2021, an offensive by government troops, with the support of Rwandan and later Southern African Development Community (SADC) troops, has recovered a number of areas from rebel control, but their flight has led to new attacks in districts through which they have passed or where they have taken up temporary refuge.

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