The economist from the African department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Thibault Lemaire, told Lusa on Sunday 23rd April that he expects the consortiums led by France’s TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil to start gas production in Mozambique in 2027 and 2029, respectively.
“Two onshore liquefied natural gas exploration projects are expected to start production in 2027 and 2029, which will have a positive impact on growth via production, tax revenues and the current account,” said the IMF economist, noting that France’s TotalEnergies would return to Mozambique after work was suspended due to violence in the north of the country and that US company ExxonMobil would soon make a positive final investment decision for Mozambique.
The country “continues to face significant development challenges, particularly due to the greater frequency and severity of natural disasters related to climate change,” Thibault Lemaire told Lusa, following the release of the report on forecasts for sub-Saharan Africa, presented as part of the Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank.
After the 4.1% recorded in 2022, an acceleration from the 2.3% growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021, following the worst phase of the pandemic, and with recoveries in the hotel, transport and communications sectors, the IMF expects economic expansion to accelerate.
“For 2023, and in the medium term, we expect a new recovery, growth of 5% in 2023 will be driven by the extractive industries, including Coral South, the first liquefied natural gas project,” whose first export was already made at the end of last year, he pointed out.
Mozambique has three development projects approved for the exploration of natural gas reserves in the Rovuma basin, classified among the largest in the world, off the coast of Cabo Delgado.
Two of these projects are larger and envisage channelling gas from the seabed to land, cooling it in a plant to export it by sea in a liquid state.
One is led by TotalEnergies (the Area 1 consortium), and work progressed until it was suspended indefinitely after an armed attack on Palma in March 2021, when the French energy company said it would only resume work when the area was safe.
The other is the still unannounced investment led by ExxonMobil and Eni (Area 4 consortium).
A third completed and smaller project also belongs to the Area 4 consortium and consists of a floating platform to capture and process gas for export directly at sea, which started up in November 2022.
The floating platform is expected to produce 3.4 mtpa (million tonnes per year) of liquefied natural gas, Area 1 points to 13.12 mtpa and the onshore plan for Area 4 envisages 15 mtpa.