- Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has announced that the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG), extracted from the Coral South field, off the coast of Palma district, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, will start in October.
Speaking in Maputo, during the Business Meeting of the African Agenda of the Community of Chairpersons of Boards of Directors and Chief Executive Officers, Mozambique will be the first country in East Africa to export LNG.
“According to estimates, the initial production could contribute an additional 1.1 percentage points to economic growth in 2023”, the president said.
The LNG will be produced on a floating platform, belonging to a consortium led by the Italian energy company, Eni. The platform, built in a Korean shipyard, arrived in Mozambican waters in January, and is now anchored in Area Four of the Rovuma Basin, some 40 kilometres from the mainland. This is the first deep-water platform in the world to operate at a water depth of about two thousand meters.
The Coral South project is expected to produce 3.4 million tons of LNG per year over its estimated 25-year lifespan. Read more
Eni, the Italian major at the head of the Coral Sul project is considering implementing a second floating natural gas production unit (FLNG) in the Rovuma Basin. Conceptual studies of the project are currently underway, according to the Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH).
“The partners – in this case, the Italians – have been talking about the possibility of bringing a new platform, but this is still at the conceptual study stage – there is no approval,” says ENH chairman Estevão Pale.
“These are just ideas that we are studying, analysing the projects and ascertaining the pros and cons. Also, from our side, we have to see what benefits will result. Of course, there are opportunities: the market has opened up because of the war situation in Ukraine, there is a need for gas for Europe, and we think that Mozambique should take advantage of this opportunity,” Estevão Pale explains, quoted by O País.
A second onshore project in Area One of the Rovuma Basin, where the operator is the French company TotalEnergies has stopped. TotalEnergies called force majeur over insurgent attacks in the area. Read more
The jihadists seized Palma town in March 2021, and TotalEnergies withdrew all of its staff from the district. Subsequently the Mozambican defence and security forces and their Rwandan allies drove the terrorists out of both Palma and the neighbouring district of Mocimboa da Praia – but the Afungi project has not yet resumed.
Cited by the independent television station, STV, Nyusi said he could not understand why such projects in Cabo Delgado had not restarted. He admitted that terrorism had not finished, “but life cannot stop”.
Displaced people were returning to Palma, albeit in a timid fashion, the President added, “and the companies have to think about this”. He said he had recently spoken to his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, about how the anti-terrorist work was going – so why were the companies not returning?
He pointed out that security in Palma today is better than it had been on the eve of the March 2021 attack. Terrorism would not just come to a full stop, he warned. Terrorist acts continued in Europe and in the United States – but life did not grind to a halt.
Nonetheless, Nyusi was confident that TotalEnergies will eventually resume its work. He did not believe that Total would walk away from Afungi. In the talks he had held with the Total CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, “he never raised the possibility that they would not come back”, sad Nyusi.
“The country is moving towards energy development”, declared the President. “Investments for the production of electricity, cooking gas, and for the petrochemical and fertilizer industry, will diversify and transform our economy, generate jobs and bring benefits for food security”.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal