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Mozambique needs gains in security and corruption in north to develop LNG

By Gordon Feller
Posted on Wednesday, 31 March 2021 13:55

Displaced people attempt to flee by boat from armed violence in Cabo Delgado RICARDO FRANCO/EPA/MAXPPP

Mozambique risks squandering its chance to build prosperity on the back of its reserves of liquefied natural gas unless it can address both the security aspects of the militant Islamist insurgency in the north, and the perceptions of corruption which feed it.

Total and ExxonMobil have separate onshore LNG development projects on the northern Afungi Peninsula. The developments combined are planned to have total investment of $50bn, though ExxonMobil has delayed its final investment decision. Italian oil major Eni also has a floating LNG facility offshore which is not directly affected by the insurgency.

The insurgency by the Islamic militant group Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jammah (ASWJ) in the northern Cabo Delgado province has displaced an estimated 670,000 people since it began 2017. In March, Total reduced the staff at its Afungi site to a minimum as the nearby town of Palma came under heavy attack.