FRENCH energy powerhouse TOTAL has declared the diversion of its liquefied natural gas project from Mozambique to Tanzania due to insurgency in Cabo Delgado, a region embracing the resource, SAUTIKUBWA has learnt.
Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) Managing Director James Mataragio confirmed that negotiations with investors would commence immediately, with hopes that off-shore liquid natural gas extraction operations can start gearing up within the next six months.
The decision to move to Tanzania is a clear indication from President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s government that the country is open for business following the sudden death of her predecessor John Magufuli in March, who had suspended talks with international petroleum companies in 2019.
In Mozambique, TOTAL said last week that it would be withdrawing personnel from the country in light of “the evolution of the security situation”, after suspending operations in Cabo Delgado following an assault on March 24 that saw dozens killed and many others displaced in Palma, a town near Total’s Afungi site.
The attack was one of many that have taken place in the region in the past four years, amid heightened tensions and unrest linked to the Islamic State.
TOTAL’s chief financial officer, Jean-Pierre Sbraire, has said the company has lost huge investment in Cabo Gagado, but has to relocate to Tanzania.