French energy company TotalEnergies is planning to restart its $20 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique in the first quarter of 2024, sources told Reuters late on Friday.
The project had been on hold since 2021 due to a violent insurgency by militants in the Cabo Delgado region, prompting TotalEnergies to declare force majeure and suspend construction.
The security situation is said to have improved with the support of a regional military force, including troops from Rwanda.
TotalEnergies aims to resume work on the project, where it holds a 26.5% stake, following the anticipated security improvements.
TotalEnergies’ decision to restart the project aligns with its earlier statement in September, where CEO Patrick Pouyanne mentioned plans to resume construction before the end of 2023.
“TotalEnergies have indicated that they want to restart their Mozambique LNG project in January 2024,” a government source close to the process said, according to Reuters.
The Mozambique LNG project is crucial for the economic development of the southern African country. However, it has faced challenges due to the insurgency, which has claimed thousands of lives since it began in 2017.
Environmental activists have also criticized the project, urging funders to withdraw their financial support.