French energy major TotalEnergies is considering the 2023 restart date of the onshore liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique based on a visit by executives to the southeast African nation, which is already enjoying the economic benefits of the start-up of the Coral South floating export venture in the southern part of the Rovuma Basin.
The company chairman and chief executive, Patrick Pouyanné, is expected to be among the party planning to travel to Cabo Delgado province where the project is located.
The Mozambican authorities said they were looking forward to welcoming TotalEnergies executives to the country as usual as they work on relaunching the $20 billion venture.
If the TotalEnergies LNG project goes ahead it would help increase Mozambique’s gross domestic product by around $67 billion, according to economists.
The TotalEnergies LNG project is located on the Afungi Peninsula and will use natural gas from the Rovuma Basin Area 1 licence to produce LNG to be transported worldwide.
The onshore Mozambique LNG project has been hindered by insecurity in the region for the last couple of years.
Construction of the plant had to be halted on April 26, 2021, when TotalEnergies declared “force majeure” because of attacks north of the plant location by an Islamist extremist group.
TotalEnergies had already delayed first LNG production at the liquefaction plant by two years to 2026.
Since the halt to the onshore project a separate floating LNG plant has come on stream offshore Mozambique.
Italian energy company Eni brought the “Coral-Sul FLNG” production vessel on stream at the end of 2022 and the first cargo was shipped in mid-November 2022.
Eni, as upstream operator of the separate Area 4 licence resources, has started the project with liquefaction capacity of 3.4 million tonnes per annum.
The TotalEnergies-run project onshore has the potential to produce round 20 MTPA of LNG.
A third development, the Rovuma LNG project, may also recover momentum in 2023 for the Area 4 licence group to produce a further 15 MTPA per annum from their resources,
However, analysts said that the shareholders in Rovuma LNG, including the US major ExxonMobil, are unlikely to take a final investment decision on the venture until the TotalEnergies project advances in the next year.