French energy company Total said it had postponed the restart of work at a liquified natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique following an attack on a nearby town this week.
The French energy group said on Saturday that none of the project staff were among the victims of the fighting, linked to an Islamist insurgency in northern Mozambique.
The attacks in Palma started Wednesday just hours after Total announced that it would resume work outside the town on its huge natural gas project at Afungi, near Mozambique’s northeastern border with Tanzania. Earlier rebel attacks prompted Total in January to suspend work on the project to extract gas from offshore sites.
The fresh rebel violence according to Washington post, brings into question the fate of Total’s gas project, one of Africa’s biggest private investments. Total paid nearly $4 billion for a 26.5% stake in the project in 2019. It had planned to start gas shipments in 2024 but the deteriorating security situation has made that goal unlikely.
Total issued a statement Saturday saying due to the latest rebel attack it had “obviously” suspended all its operations in the Afungi peninsula. It said none of its staff at the Afungi site were victims of the attack.
“Total expresses its sympathy and support to the people of Palma, to the relatives of the victims and those affected by the tragic events of the past days,” said the statement.
“Total trusts the government of Mozambique whose public security forces are currently working to take back the control of the area.”