The Mozambican president, Filipe Nyusi, assured on Wednesday that the conditions are met to allow TotalEnergies to resume its huge natural gas exploitation project in the country, suspended since 2021 following a major jihadist attack, a few kilometers away.
The poor but resource-rich northeastern province of Cabo Delgado, which has a Muslim majority and borders Tanzania, has been plagued by violence from armed groups since late 2017. Nearly 4,700 people have already been killed, including more than 2,000 civilians. One million have been forced from their homes.
At the end of March 2021, a coordinated attack on the coastal town of Palma forced the French group to suspend a 16.5 billion euro natural gas development project until further notice. Facilities still under construction on the Afungi peninsula were evacuated.
"The cooperation and coordination with Total is very good. The working environment is conducive for the company to resume operations at any time," said Filipe Nyusi, speaking at a mining and energy conference in the Mozambican capital Maputo.
TotalEnergies has been cautious for several months about the possibility of restarting its operations in Mozambique. Its CEO, Patrick Pouyanné, visited the country in February and held talks with the Mozambican president.
Last month, the French giant's Italian subcontractor, Saipem, announced preparations to resume work, saying it had been informed that "safety has improved."