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Government to Restart Projects in Rovuma Basin

Government to Restart Projects in Rovuma Basin

Last Wednesday, 3 July,the Minister for the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Lídia Cardoso, called for the resumption of the natural gas project in Area 4 of the Rovuma basin, believing that the instability created by terrorism in Cabo Delgado tends to be controlled by the Mozambican Defence and Security Forces (FADM), with the support of Rwanda, the European Union and the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM), the latter of which is no longer on site.

According to an article published on Friday 5 July by the newspaper O País, the government official was speaking in Cabo Delgado during the launch of a conference on Energy and Industry in the city of Pemba.

“For us, it is a privilege to be part of this concerted movement to reaffirm the good conditions for operationalising investments in Cabo Delgado and speeding up the resumption of all the anchor projects, especially Area 4 of the Rovuma basin. This is undoubtedly the right time to promote the good image of stability and welcome the biggest investments in the region in the energy sector and mobilise public and private resources for the local development agenda,” said Lídia Cardoso, speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister, Adriano Maleiane.

For its part, TotalEnergies, the French multinational leading the gas project in Area 4 of the Rovuma basin, did not respond to the government’s appeal, but promised not to paralyse the province’s social responsibility and economic development actions.

Gas exploration

“Although we are still distant for reasons of force majeure, and our operations such as the construction of the gas plant have been paralysed, we have been investing in local content actions and the socio-economic development of the communities in Cabo Delgado,” explained Laila Chilemba, a representative of TotalEnergies.
She also explained that, “under this joint initiative with the government and civil society, since 2022 Total has invested around 2.5 billion meticals (40 million dollars) in the area of socio-economic development and, as a result, around 8,000 jobs have been created, mainly in the districts of Palma and Mocímboa da Praia, as well as the restoration of 1,300 hectares of mangroves in the Palma area”.

At the beginning of this year, the oil company’s chairman, Patrick Pouyanné, said he expected construction and natural gas exploration work to resume in Cabo Delgado by the end of the year, guaranteeing that he would monitor the situation on the ground constantly.

Mozambique has three development projects approved to exploit the natural gas reserves in the Rovuma basin, classified among the largest in the world, off the coast of Cabo Delgado.

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