President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina has stated that TotalEnergies’ liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique may bounce back within the next 18 months.
This is coming after the deployment of allied forces from African countries were deployed to quell an insurgency.
The company declared force majeure on the US$20 billion project in April 2021 after militants overran the town of Palma, an access point to its facilities in the northern Cabo Delgado province. It was estimated at the time the disruption would delay development by at least a year.
Military intervention from Rwanda and member states from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have since been deployed to support Mozambican forces in putting down the insurgency.
AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina said he did not expect the interruption to affect the LNG project’s long-term viability.
“The return of security in that place will give assurances to Total and others to return,” he said.
“In one year to 18 months, I expect it to be stabilized enough to get back on track.”
The AfDB is lending US$400m to the LNG project, which is Africa’s largest-ever foreign direct investment and a linchpin of Mozambique’s economic development strategy.
Southern African nations agreed in June 2021 to send troops to assist Mozambique, after Rwanda, which is not a SADC member deployed 1,000 soldiers a month later.
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has confirmed that the army is now retaking ground in Cabo Delgado.
In July 2021, Mozambican and Rwandan security forces recaptured the port town of Mocimboa da Praia, previously an insurgent stronghold.
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