Total withdraws staff from insurgency-hit Mozambique plant

APA-Maputo (Mozambique)

French oil and gas major Total has withdrawn some of its staff from its gas project in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province following attacks in the area, the company announced on Saturday.

It said it has been forced to temporarily downsize its workforce as a precautionary measure in the aftermath of sustained attacks near the plant by insurgents allegedly linked to terrorist group Islamic State.

"The Total-led Mozambique LNG Project has temporarily reduced its workforce on site in response to the prevailing environment, including ongoing challenges associated with COVID-19 and the security situation in northern Cabo Delgado," it said in a statement.

It was not clear how many people have been evacuated from the plant, which employs about 3,000 people.

Cabo Delgado has experienced a wave of armed attacks since October 2017 and these have escalated significantly since January 2020, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without adequate access to food, water, sanitation or any basic services.

More than 500,000 people have been internally displaced in the oil-rich province where armed groups have been attacking government installations and civilians.

Total announced in July 2020 that it is leading an international consortium that is developing the multi-billion-dollar Mozambican LNG project.

The project is ranked Africa’s single largest foreign direct investment to date and comprises a global team of energy developers and operators, led by Total alongside Mitsui, Oil India, ONGC Videsh Limited, Bharat Petroleum, PTT Exploration, as well as Mozambique's national oil and gas company, ENH.

On completion, the project is expected to have a total capacity of around 13 million tonnes of LNG per year.


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