The chairman of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanné, said on Wednesday (7), during the presentation of the 2023 results, that the company hopes to restart activities in the Rovuma basin, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, by the end of this year.
In March 2021, the French oil company suspended the project to build a plant to produce and export natural gas, due to the insecurity generated by the terrorist attacks.
Speaking in London, England, he explained that his company is monitoring the whole scenario in order to avoid a forced return.
“We are monitoring the terrain, the civilian population is already back and we can see a certain normality. There are some engineering issues to be resolved, but I hope to restart the project by the end of the year. What we don’t want to happen is to make people return to Cabo Delgado and then force them to leave, which would be very complex,” he clarified.
Pouyanné also emphasised that TotalEnergies has been making progress with suppliers and different contractors, who are interested in reactivating the project.
“We’re mobilising the contractors again and we’re not far away from having everything ready to return to Mozambique and restart the work. Now we need to reactivate the financial institutions around the world,” he said.
Mozambique has three development projects approved to exploit the natural gas reserves in the Rovuma basin, classified as among the largest in the world, all located off the coast of Cabo Delgado province.
Two of these projects are larger and involve channelling the gas from the seabed to land, cooling it in a plant and then exporting it by sea in a liquid state.
One is led by TotalEnergies (Area 1 consortium) and work progressed until it was suspended indefinitely after the armed attack on Palma in March 2021, when the French energy company declared that it would only resume work when the area was safe. The other is the still unannounced investment led by ExxonMobil and Eni (Area 4 consortium).
A third completed, smaller project also belongs to the Area 4 consortium and consists of a floating platform for capturing and processing gas for export, directly at sea, which started up in November 2022.