Total Forced To Halt $20B Mozambique LNG Project After Militant Attacks

France’s supermajor Total declared force majeure on Monday on its US$20-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique following recent Islamist militant attacks in towns close to the site.

The project site is close to the town of Palma in the Cabo Delgado province, where Islamic State-affiliated militants have been active for a few years now.

Last month Islamic State-affiliated militants raided the town of Palma in the Cabo Delgado province in attacks that have left dozens of people killed since March 24.

Following the renewed attacks, Total said at the end of March that it had postponed the restart of the construction activities at the LNG project site. None of the staff of the project were among the victims, Total said on March 27.

Just days before that, Total had said the Mozambique LNG Project would progressively resume construction activities at the site, following the implementation of additional site security measures.

Total signed a pact in August last year with the government of Mozambique to bolster security for its LNG project.

“The Government of Mozambique has declared the area within a 25 km perimeter surrounding the Mozambique LNG Project as a special security area,” Total said on March 24.

After the attacks that began at the end of March, Total said today:

“Considering the evolution of the security situation in the north of the Cabo Delgado province in Mozambique, Total confirms the withdrawal of all Mozambique LNG project personnel from the Afungi site. This situation leads Total, as operator of Mozambique LNG project, to declare force majeure.”

The Total-led Mozambique LNG Project, for which the US$20-billion Final Investment Decision (FDI) was taken in 2019, is currently on track to deliver LNG in 2024, Total says.

Earlier this month, a spokesman for the Mozambique army said that the project was beyond the reach of the insurgents.

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