Total’s LNG project in Mozambique to secure $15bn

04/06/2020 09:54 Natural Gas

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Total's planned LNG export facility in Mozambique is to receive $15 billion (267bn rand) of financing commitments from a banking consortium at a signing scheduled for June, according to South Africa's Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), one of the project's backers.

"It will be a remarkable achievement in the circumstances," RMB head of oil and gas coverage Jonathan Ross said.

 

Covid-19 has put enormous pressure on banks' capital and prompted a severe pullback of investment in the oil and gas sector in sub-Saharan Africa, Ross said. Many projects are now delayed and capital expenditure deferred as companies scrutinise costs, he said.

 

The project is expected to generate more than $40bn in revenue for the government over its lifespan, according to RMB.

 

Mozambique LNG partners made the final investment decision on the $20bn scheme — which includes the liquefaction plant, offshore wells and infrastructure, financing and contingencies — in June last year.

 

Total acquired the 12.9mn t/yr LNG project, along with a 26.5pc operating stake in offshore block 1, last year when it purchased US independent Anadarko's African portfolio from peer Occidental. The French firm completed its $3.9bn purchase of assets that gave it control over the project in September.

 

The onshore LNG facility on the Afungi peninsula will have a capacity of around 1.65bn ft³/d (17bn m³/yr) of gas and first exports are expected in 2024. It will be supplied with gas from block 1, which Anadarko estimates can support 50mn t/yr of LNG production, and neighbouring offshore block 4, being developed by ExxonMobil and Italy's Eni.

 

But ExxonMobil and Eni have delayed an FID for the planned 15mn t/yr Rovuma LNG project to at least 2021 owing to spending cuts in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

 

RMB has made previous financing commitments to Mozambique's oil and gas sector, including helping to fund Eni's 3.4mn t/yr Coral South floating LNG project offshore Mozambique.

 

RMB and its parent company FirstRand regard gas developments in Mozambique as of "key strategic importance", Ross said. They are also aligned with FirstRand's fossil fuels investment policy to move its financing portfolio to natural gas as a transition fuel in the global shift to lower carbon energy supply, he said.

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