1. Offshore LNG Production in Cabo Delgado to Begin in October

 

The production of liquefied natural gas in the Rovuma basin in northern Mozambique will start within seven months via the Coral Sul floating platform parked off Cabo Delgado, the Mozambican government announced.

“In October of this year we will start to have the first results in terms of production,” said Filimão Suaze, spokesman for the Council of Ministers after the meeting of the body on Tuesday (08.03). He also highlighted the fact that Mozambicans are expected to be trained onboard the infrastructure, one of the largest in the world in its class.

“There is a deep know-how that is staying with Mozambicans and over the 25 years” of the platform’s useful life (in a first phase) it is expected that the number of Mozambicans, which is now 27, will “increase”. Coral Sul gas extraction and the liquefied platform is the first in deep water and the first project of its kind developed in Africa.

The production (3.4 million tons of natural gas per year) will be made within Mozambique’s Exploration Area 4 and will be sold to BP oil company for 20 years, with an extension option for another 10.

Area 4 is operated by Mozambique Rovuma Venture (MRV), a joint venture co-owned by ExxonMobil, Eni and CNPC (China), which holds a 70% stake in the concession agreement. Galp, KOGAS (South Korea) and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (Mozambique) each hold a 10% stake.

 


 

2. Spotlight on Africa to Meet Global LNG Demand

 

Deutsche Welle reported on March 2022 that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is forcing Europe to diversify its energy supply. “Germany and Europe must now quickly make up for what they have lost in the last 20 years,” Stefan Liebing, president of the Germany-Africa Business Association, said in a recent press release. Liebing advised German Economy Minister Robert Habeck to travel to African countries such as Algeria, Nigeria, Egypt and Angola, which could help free Europe from its dependence on Russian gas.

A mega-gas project in Nigeria is raising hopes of more gas imports for Europeans: Algeria, Niger and Nigeria have agreed to build the 4,000-kilometre-long Trans-Saharian Gas Pipeline, also known as NIGAL. According to media reports, once completed, the pipeline estimated at US$21 billion (about €19 billion) will transport up to 30 billion cubic metres of gas a year to Algeria, connecting to the existing network for Europe.

The idea is not new, but for a long time, the security situation in the Sahel region and the tensions between the governments of Algiers and Niamey has not allowed the project to go ahead. Therefore, it was not until 2021 that Algeria and Niger reopened their border. Since then, the construction of the pipeline has been relaunched.

In 2019, Europe imported about 108 billion cubic meters of LNG, of which more than 12 billion came from Nigeria, Khadi Camara of the Germany-Africa Business Association told DW. Africa’s largest oil producer is among the ten countries with the most gas reserves in the world. “They have more reserves than they need for their own market

and are therefore predestined for export,” Camara said. However, while Nigeria is already in an important role in the European gas market, there are also limitations there, Camara said. In 2021, the country was unable to meet its goal. Infrastructure hardly allows for continuity of production, and there is always the question of efficiency and reliability. Camara says long-term investments and a strategic partnership are needed for Germany and Nigeria to cooperate better in the field of gas. “That’s where Nigeria probably can’t become a ‘quick fix’ to our serious gas problem, but rather help Germany diversify energy sources for the future,” he said.

When the transition to renewable energy is achieved, other African countries, such as Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania, could become key suppliers of natural gas to Europe.

 


 

3. Security For Whom In Cabo Delgado? Dr João Feijó Raises Concerns

 

“This military solution has to exist, there has to be security on the ground, but the question is: security for whom? Only for the large investments of the multinational Totalenergies” or a “broader security, for the populations?” Feijó, a sociologist and PhD in African studies, recalls that the French oil company has already announced that it would “only return after the populations” return to the land from which they fled, so “it seems that there is a collective effort on the part of these different actors – Totalenergies, foreign troops, national troops and government – in order to give priority to Palma and Mocímboa da Praia”.

The oil company suspended the €20 billion project – the largest private investment in Africa – a year ago, following the armed attack on Palma, a village around which a new city and industrial complex began to be built to exploit Rovuma’s gas reserves – ranked among the largest in the world.

With still limited access, both by land and by air, and dependent on military columns or authorizations of the Mozambican Defense and Security Forces (SDS), Palma “was cleaned and being prepared” to receive “many civil servants”, describes João Feijó. “They will return in the coming days, they have already been called” in order to reactivate the services and the same type of return is being prepared for Mocímboa da Praia – a port village that was occupied about a year, until August 2021, by rebel groups. “This triangle Afungi, Mocímboa da Praia and Palma will be the first with more safety, precisely for the gas industry. There is this great pressure to revitalise gas as soon as possible because the Government needs revenue and is counting on them to be able to do other projects as well,” he said.

Feijó admits that the urgency of resembling the area of projects and gas is legitimate, but “conscious decisions have to be made,” he says. “If we’re going to create two types of security, one around the megaprojects and out, we’re creating two types of citizenship and an enclave economy,” he said. That is, there is a risk of creating “an area of great investment and international presence, without connection with the economic fabric around and travelling directly abroad”, without the “local content that was expected”, that is, the links with the local business fabric.

And around this area of great investment “we have 700,000 displaced, decapitalized”, with public services destroyed and that “continue to be the target of small attacks”, as has happened in recent months in the districts of Nangade, Macomia and Meluco. “We have to be aware” that giving security to the triangle of gas projects before “can be good for the country, because it will generate revenue, but it does not solve the fundamental problem” of social inequality. “Unfortunately, looking at other countries with similar characteristics, the ingredients are gathered so that the situation will repeat itself again,” he concluded.

 


 

4. Local Residents in Cabo Delgado Wonder Why Economic Interests of Senior Government Officials Were Never Attacked During Insurgency

 

Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM), which operates rubies in northern Mozambique, announced that it will increase its production from 200 tons per hour to 400 tons, in an operation budgeted at US$59.6 million (54 million euros). “This project will have a significant impact both on the company and in the country. Once completed, the proposed new treatment plant is expected to substantially increase the company’s production and revenue base,” Claudius Nhongonhema, MRM’s Deputy Managing Director, quoted in a company statement issued on 14 March 2022.

But local sources wonder why the ruby mines at Montepuez have never been attacked by insurgents and that the mining of rubies has never been interrupted, even though all the districts that surround Montepuez (Mueda, Muidumbe, Meluco and Ancuabe) have been subject to repeated violent attacks. They point to the fact that the mining of rubies is controlled by General Raimundo Domingos Pachinuapa, one of the oldest members of Frelimo’s Political Commission. A pure coincidence? The source expressed the opinion that this was evidence of how senior government and military officials are manipulating the conflict to their own advantage.

Elsewhere similar suspicions persist. A source in Palma pointed out that all hotels in the town have been destroyed, except for the one belonging to General Eduardo Nihia. The same source says that General Nihia owns herds of cattle in the Muidumbe District, the scene of some of the worst attacks. Yet his herd of cattle remains there, untouched. DHPI has been unable to confirm that general Nihia owns a hotel in Palma.


 

5. More Attacks Reported in Niassa

 

The Secretary of State, in Niassa, demands that the Police urgently investigate the recurrent attacks on vehicles using firearms, in the districts of Marrupa, Maúa, Mavago and Muembe. The request follows the attack, last Sunday, by unknown persons, armed with firearms and blunt instruments, on a truck carrying passengers and goods that were leaving Mecula for Nampula. The attack took place at the administrative post of Marangira, Marrupa district, and the criminals took all the merchandise and unspecified monetary values.

Dinis Vilanculos made this statement, this Monday, March 14, during the delivery of four vehicles to the provincial command of the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM) in Niassa, to reinforce operational capacity.


 

6. Other Updates

 

The heads of state of SADC will soon make a visit to the SAMIM operations in Mozambique. This was decided earlier this month after a group of ambassador representatives made an initial visit to Pemba, to track the progress of the mission. The visit was undertaken by a group including the Director of Regional and Continental Integration for Mozambique and SADC National Contact Point for Mozambique, Ambassador Carlos da Costa; South African High Commissioner to Mozambique, General (ret) Sophie Nyanja; Botswana High Commissioner to Mozambique, Gobi Pits; Zimbabwe High Commissioner to Mozambique, Victor Matemadanda; Acting Secretary of State of Cabo Delgado, Dario Sidonio Passo; as well as representatives from Angola, Eswatini, Tanzania and Zambia, as well as support from military leadership of the SADC SAMIM contributing countries. The three day visit was slated to give support to the troops and other personnel, as well as make a first-hand assessment of the situation on the ground in order to “enable a clear assessment and pave the way for the imminent visit by Heads of State and Government”. The Malawian ambassador, Wezi Moyo, has reiterated that “acts of terrorism are detrimental to the unity and solidarity the SADC region has enjoyed over the years. The visit (of the ambassadors) was a result of the resolutions of the SADC Troika Summit in Pretoria in 2021, which among others, agreed Heads of State and Government should undertake a visit to Pemba to not only experience operations of troops but to further appraise the humanitarian situation”.

In a show of regional solidarity, South Africa has thrown its weight behind Mozambique’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council. This, in addition to the ongoing lobbying for Africa to have a permanent seat on the SC, a reform which would be even more urgent, now in the face of the war in Ukraine and creeping Russian hostility to the rest of Europe. “Together with South Africa’s tenure in the African Union Peace and Security Council, this will provide an opportunity for our countries to further cement co-operation between the two councils, especially in the area of financing peace support operations”, says President Ramaphosa. Currently, the UNSC has 5 permanent member states, namely China, Russia, the United State, the United Kingdom and France, as well as a rotating panel of 10 non-permanent states. At the moment, Africa is represented in the 10 rotating states by Gabon, Ghana and Kenya.

In the wake of Cyclone Gombe, over 300 000 families have been left without electricity, the storm, which hit the Mozambican coast early Friday morning, affected about 20 districts so far in the Nampula province. The rain has continued into the week, with cyclonic rains still battering the provincial capital of Nampula city, with weather conditions worsening. “The technical teams from Electricidade de Mozambique (EDM) Transport and Distribution sectors are on the ground and on standby. However, atmospheric conditions have been major obstacles”. As of Wednesday, 16 March, 17 fatalities have been confirmed to be caused by the storm. 11 casualties were caused by collapsing houses, three by falling trees and one by electrocution, and another two reported in Mocuba. The Deputy Director of the National Emergency Operative Centre, Antonio Beleza, said that rescue efforts are continuing. “Teams are on the ground assessing the situation. In some districts, such as Mogincual and Liupo, it is still not possible to proceed, because transit is interrupted, but we are studying alternative ways to reach these two locations.”

Cyclone Gomba caused extensive damage to land and property

 

 

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