Europe’s interest in pacifying Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, is independent of the gas projects in that region, the head of European Union (EU) diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said on Friday, September 9, at the end of a visit to the country.
“If there is gas, it is good news for Mozambicans because the revenue from the gas will be for them,” the EU’s high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy told a press conference.
In the morning, on the margins of a military event, Borrell said that the EU helps Mozambique not only out of “generosity” but also because it is in the EU’s interest that the country contributes to global “peace and prosperity”.
Later in the day, Borrell explained that EU support in military training and equipment for Mozambican troops in Cabo Delgado was already in the pipeline “a couple of years before” the current context of natural gas shortages in Europe because of the war in Ukraine.
“Prosperous and secure Mozambique is good for the world” and “Europe’s security starts far from its borders”, he reiterated, to justify the European interest.
“We fight against terrorism in many countries” and stability “is good first for Mozambicans”, he added.
Armed violence led in April 2021 to the suspension of the largest gas project under construction in Mozambique – and largest private investment in Africa, to the tune of 20 billion euros – led by French oil company TotalEnergies.
Some of the largest natural gas reserves in the world are ready to be exploited under the seabed, 40 kilometres off Cabo Delgado, in the Rovuma basin, but insecurity has prevented the construction of onshore liquefaction plants.
The exploitation of those reserves will start before the end of the year by the smallest of the three planned projects, via an autonomous floating platform for extraction, liquefaction and filling of export cargo ships.