Total declares force majeure on Mozambique LNG after insurgent attacks

Dozens of civilians were murdered in the Islamic State-linked strikes in the coastal Mozambique city of Palma, close gas jobs which are worth $60 billion and are targeted at changing the East African nation’s market.

The violence in March has dealt a setback to plans by Complete and rival Exxon Mobil, which also features an LNG project in Mozambique, to turn the nation into a significant LNG manufacturer to rival Australia, Qatar, Russia and the United States.

Additionally, it comes as important energy firms reassess their strategy to LNG, once considered a fuel of the future since it’s lower emissions than oil or coal but currently under scrutiny at the drive to lower carbon emissions even more profoundly.

“Considering that the growth of the security situation… Total affirms the withdrawal of Mozambique LNG project employees from the Afungi website. This scenario leads Complete, as owner of Mozambique LNG job, to declare force majeure,” the firm said on Monday.

Complete, which aimed to make its first freight from the job in 2024, suspended work on March 27 following the Allied attack.

Declaring force majeure suggests a weightier suspension also enables Complete to counter builders.

“Mozambique was believed the following LNG El Dorado due to its high, cheap resource base and perfect location to provide key demand centers,” explained Thomas Adolff from Credit Suisse.

“But rather it’s appearing more like… Mozambique no more playing a huge part in the 2020s,” he added.

Carlos Zacarias, chairman of the institute which governs Mozambique’s energy creation, told a news conference that Total wouldn’t fulfil contractual duties while the force majeure was set up.

Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi reported this month the authorities would work to revive peace.

The LNG project comprises development of this Golfinho and Atum natural gas areas in the Offshore Area 1 concession and also the building of a two-train liquefaction plant with power of 13.12 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).

Total procured a $14.9 billion debt funding package in July to finance its rollout.

In addition, it stated it was too premature to supply an updated project schedule, although there was speculation among several contractors the delay would last at least a year.

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