President rules out the possibility of TotalEnergies abandoning Cabo Delgado gas project

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President rules out the possibility of TotalEnergies abandoning Cabo Delgado gas project
President rules out the possibility of TotalEnergies abandoning Cabo Delgado gas project

Africa-Press – Mozambique. The Mozambican president on Thursday ruled out the possibility of TotalEnergies abandoning natural gas extraction in Cabo Delgado, adding that the company was putting pressure on the government to create conditions for the resumption of activities.

“We never thought that Total might not come back, and the conversation I’ve had with the company’s president [Patrick Pouyanné] never raised that possibility,” Filipe Nyusi declared during the CEO Community African Chapter Business Meeting in Maputo yesterday.

According to the Mozambican head of state, the French major has been pressuring the government to create the conditions for the restart of the company’s activities, and has meanwhile been supporting the authorities’ efforts to resolve the problem of the insurgency in the region through its community engagement programmes.

“Total is putting pressure on the government to do its part, which is to restore tranquillity and security. The company itself has been making its contribution to stabilising the situation, supporting youth,” the head of state noted.

Although he rules out the possibility of Total abandoning the project, Filipe Nyusi noted that the gas would not disappear if the French multinational decides to permanently suspend operations.

“We don’t consider [the possibility of] Total not returning, but, well, if that happens, the gas is [still] there […] there are those who can exploit it too – it’s not a product that disappears. But we don’t think negatively,” President Nyusi said, adding that, with the support of foreign forces, the situation in the district of Palma was now stable and the business community could return.

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

Speaking to the media in Gaza province, southern Mozambique, yesterday, Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Carlos Zacarias, promised that all conditions for the resumption of Total’s natural gas project activities would be in place by the end of the year [2022].

Palma was the target of one of the most publicised attacks carried out by the rebels who have been terrorizing Cabo Delgado province since 2017, when on March 24, 2021, insurgents invaded the district headquarters, killing and wounding dozens of residents and putting to flight thousands more.

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