The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy promised this Thursday, August 5, that by the end of this year all conditions will be created for the resumption of Total’s natural gas project, suspended due to the war in Cabo Delgado.
“From our point of view, we expect that this year all the conditions are created to guarantee and convince the concessionaires to resume the activities”, said Carlos Zacarias, speaking to journalists, on the sidelines of the seventh coordinating council of the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy.
He pointed out that the security situation in Cabo Delgado province, in the north of the country, which hosts natural gas exploration projects, “has changed radically” against the armed groups that have been carrying out violence since October 2017 in the region.
“Naturally, a resumption of activities will depend on what is the specific perception of each concessionaire regarding security conditions,” Carlos Zacarias emphasized.
TotalEnergies, whose consortium will invest over $20 billion in natural gas exploration in Northern Mozambique, suspended project development in the region due to a 2021 rebel attack near the development’s infrastructure in Palma district, Cabo Delgado province.
Palma was the target of one of the most notorious attacks by the rebels that have terrorized the province of Cabo Delgado for almost five years, when on March 24, 2021, the insurgents invaded the district headquarters, causing dozens of deaths and injuries, and the flight of thousands of people.
Cabo Delgado province is rich in natural gas, but has been terrorized since 2017 by armed insurgents, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State. There are about 800,000 internally displaced people due to the conflict, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and about 4,000 deaths, according to the conflict registration project ACLED.
Since July 2021, an offensive by government troops with Rwandan support, later joined by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), allowed the rebels to recover areas where they had been present, but their flight has provoked new attacks in other districts used as passage or refuge.