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Mozambique leads the way with first LNG exports starting in October

First ever 2,000-metre-plus deepwater platform expected to produce 3.4 million tons annually; terrorist threat delays other projects in East African republic.

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First ever 2,000-metre-plus deepwater platform expected to produce 3.4 million tons annually; terrorist threat delays other projects in East African republic.

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PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:39 am

Exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), extracted from the Coral South field off the coast of Palma district in Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado, will start in October.

Speaking in Maputo during the Business Meeting of the African Agenda of the Community of Chairpersons of Boards of Directors and Chief Executive Officers, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said that “Mozambique will be the first country in East Africa to export LNG.”

“According to estimates, the initial production could contribute an additional 1.1 percentage points to economic growth in 2023,” he added.

The LNG will be produced on a floating platform, belonging to a consortium led by the Italian energy company, Eni.

The Korean-built platform arrived in Mozambican waters in January, and is now anchored in Area Four of the Rovuma Basin, some 40 kilometres from the mainland.

It is the first deep-water platform in the world to operate at a water depth of about 2,000 metres.

The Coral South project is expected to produce 3.4 million tons of LNG per year over its estimated 25-year lifespan.

A second project is planned for Area One of the Rovuma Basin, where the operator is the French company TotalEnergies.

The planned LNG plants for this project are onshore in the Afungi Peninsula of Palma district. But work at Afungi has stopped, supposedly because of the threat posed by Islamic terrorists.

The jihadists seized Palma town in March 2021, and TotalEnergies withdrew all of its staff from the district.

Subsequently, the Mozambican defence and security forces and their Rwandan allies drove the terrorists out of both Palma and the neighbouring district of Mocimboa da Praia – but the Afungi project has not yet resumed.

Cited by the independent television station, STV, Nyusi said he could not understand why such projects in Cabo Delgado had not restarted. He admitted that terrorism had not finished, “but life cannot stop”.

Nonetheless, Nyusi was confident that TotalEnergies would eventually resume its work.

He said he did not believe that Total would walk away from Afungi. In the talks he had held with the Total CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, “he never raised the possibility that they would not come back,” said Nyusi.

“The country is moving towards energy development”, declared the president. “Investments for the production of electricity, cooking gas, and for the petrochemical and fertiliser industry, will diversify and transform our economy, generate jobs and bring benefits for food security”.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:39 am

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