Mozambique: Attack on Palma leaves Total’s LNG plans exposed

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Monday, 29 March 2021 12:14, updated on Monday, 10 May 2021 08:44

The logo of French oil and gas company Total is seen in Rueil-Malmaison
Grit Real Estate says it wants to become carbon neutral, but TotalEnergies is its second-largest tenant. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The attack by the Islamic militant group Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jammah (ASWJ) on the town of Palma in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province raises the risks of failure for Total’s onshore development of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The company responded to the attack, which began on 24 March, by reducing the workforce at its nearby Afungi site to a minimum. Total aims to deliver Mozambique LNG’s first cargoes in 2024.

The attack is “a major setback” for the government and “raises serious questions about its ability to guarantee the security of LNG projects,” says Alexandre Raymakers, senior Africa analyst at Verisk Maplecroft in Cape Town.