The decision by French super major, Total, to declare force majeure on its Mozambique LNG Project has been met with stiff opposition by African Energy Chamber, the continental body responsible for the coordination of energy activities.
Total, on Monday, confirmed the withdrawal of all Mozambique LNG project personnel from the Afungi site, citing insecurity situation due to last month insurgent attacks which left dozens dead.
Total, which aimed to produce its first cargo from the project in 2024, suspended work on March 27 after the militant attack.
However, in a statement issued by African Energy Chamber and copied to energynewsafrica.com, it said though it stands in solidarity with Mozambique and Total and all energy investors, it was disappointed in Total’s decision.
While acknowledging that force majeure is permitted under the Mozambique Petroleum Law, it argued that: “When energy multinationals made a decision to halt natural gas development projects in Myanmar and some declared force majeure, Total remained and made a clear argument that the public stands to lose from electricity shortages. The field supplied about half of Myanmar’s natural gas used for power generation.
“If Total does halt gas production, we are convinced the junta will not hesitate to resort to forced labor,” Total’s Chairman and CEO, Patrick Pouyanné stated at the time. “In Mozambique, if this drags on and not resolved, we give an upper hand to terrorist and ISIS.”
The African Energy Chamber said: “We are looking forward to Total taking the same stance in Mozambique as it has done in these countries more impacted by terrorism, and together with the government and other parties involved, find a solution to safely continue with its LNG Project.
“When we stop as an industry, we nurture the hate speech against energy projects in Africa, and we give those “haters” instruments to criticise further our good-faith efforts to make Africa better for Africans. This is not the time to allow for this. This is the time to make a stand, find solutions, and continue exploiting our resources,” N.J Ajuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, said.
‘Everyone must stand against the cowardly attack on Palma. Everyone with sense must understand that terrorist activities and the attacks on energy infrastructure are not only against Total and energy investors, they are against Mozambique and the entire world and all who believe that Mozambique’s gas is a solution to the climate crisis.
“Not only is this LNG project and revenue for a company and its lenders is at stake but the life of everyday Africans and of the people of Mozambique are. We must not forget that all of these efforts and projects are and should be for the benefit of the people. Mozambicans are eagerly waiting for the benefits their gas will give to them, and we should be focusing on making them see and receive such benefits. We must not concede or surrender. We have to find a way to fight for the project and for the people.
“Let us stand together. Let us find a solution to get the Total LNG project going again. Many local and international service companies have invested much money in people, capacity building, materials, and financing, believing in Total’s LNG Project. Such efforts should not be discarded.”