Total CEO says giant Mozambique LNG project on track

Total’s $20 billion Mozambique LNG project is still on track despite security concerns in the region, according to chief executive Patrick Pouyanne.

The French firm said in early January it had decided to reduce the number of personnel working at the Afungi LNG site due to “security reasons” after an attack in a village near the site.

Pouyanne said during a live webcast of Total’s results and strategy on Tuesday the project had reached a 21 percent completion at the end of last year.

“We face clearly some security issues, as you know, it’s public, and we are working with the Mozambique government. It does not have, at this stage, impact on the planning of the project, which we’ll deliver by 2024,” the CEO said.

He added that works are still mainly in the “engineering phase, a logistical phase, and the offshore works have been maintained.”

“But obviously, the situation on the ground will need to be controlled. And we have a clear plan, securing an area of at least 25-kilometer around the project itself in order to be able to resume the work, which is our intent,” Pouyanne said.

“But my highest priority is security, not only of our staff but also the staff of our partners who work onshore in Mozambique,” he said.

Onshore works restart

In addition, Puyanne said that onshore works could restart by the end of the first quarter.

“I mean to be clear, we all agreed when we met with the government, that the sooner is better, and that we want to remobilize,” he said.

“So if the armed forces and the police are able to recontrol the area that we agree together, I think at the end of the first quarter – we should be able to restart the work,” he said.

“What is very important to us is that we want to be sure that when we remobilize people, we can really engage in a sustainable work there. And we don’t want to reengage and then to stop again,” he said.

The project’s EPC contractor is CCS JV, a venture between Saipem, McDermott, and Chiyoda.

The project includes the development of offshore gas fields in Mozambique’s Area 1 and a 12.8 mtpa liquefaction plant at the Afungi complex in Palma in northern Mozambique.

Moreover, the project will also have a fleet of dedicated LNG carriers.

Besides Total, other partners in the project are Japan’s Mitsui, Mozambique’s ENH, Thailand’s PTT, and Indian firms ONGC, Bharat Petroleum, and Oil India.

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