Saipem to restart Mozambique LNG project for Total in July


TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) and Saipem (SPMI.MI) have agreed to restart an LNG project in Mozambique in July. The CEO of the Italian energy services group said this on Tuesday.

The project, which was supposed to be the first onshore expansion of an LNG plant in an African country, was put on hold in 2021. This is due to security concerns. The Italian group will get 3.5 billion euros ($3.72 billion) from the contract. Alessandro Puliti, the CEO of Saipem, said on a call about the project’s results in 2022, “Our customers tell us that the project (in Mozambique) will start to slowly improve in July of this year.”


Puliti said that Saipem doesn’t know anything about the state of human rights and safety in the province of Cabo Delgato, where the project will be done.

This month, TotalEnergies chose Jean-Christophe Rufin, an expert in human rights and humanitarian aid, to lead an independent mission. This mission will look at the humanitarian situation in the province before deciding whether or not to start operations again.
“We don’t have direct access to the human rights reports. However, we have agreed with Total to republish it in July. This means that by suspending it until July, our client is confident that we can solve any problems,” Puli said.
Total told Reuters on Tuesday that it would wait for a human rights assessment that Rufin had asked for before saying it would get back to work on the project.

The French company also said that, based on the first estimates, there is still no date for getting the report by the end of February.
Lorette Philippot, a member of Friends of the Earth France, said that the project’s bad effects on the climate and people could not be fixed by the summer.

“The situation on the ground is very bad,” said Philippot. “The gas industry has been at the center of a brutal war that has forced a million people to move within their own country.”


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