Total's Mozambican gas plans delayed, not doused by attacks



01-04-2021
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PARIS - A deadly assault by Islamic State-linked militants in Mozambique could delay plans by Total to build a massive liquefied natural gas facility, analysts warn, although the project is still likely to go forward.



Dozens of civilians were killed in the assault and capture of the key northern town of Palma by militants, and thousands fled the area.



Total, a French energy major, announced Saturday that it was suspending operations at the facility, located just a dozen kilometres from Palma.



The announcement came just days after Total announced it was resuming construction, which had been suspended for months owing to previous violence.



The Mozambique LNG project envisages building a massive facility capable of chilling and compressing natural gas into a liquid state, which makes it much easier to transport large amounts by ship.



The facility will also be capable of storing liquefied natural gas (LNG) and loading it onto ships.



Total and its partners plan to invest $20-billion in the project, and raised nearly $15-billion in financing last year, the largest amount ever for a project in Africa.



Last month, Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanne insisted that the project, which it inherited from the US energy firm Anadarko, was still on track to begin operations in 2024.



He indicated having reached agreement with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on creating a 25-kilometre secure zone around the site before work resumes on the site.

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