ExxonMobil "optimistic and pushing forward" with Mozambique LNG project

ExxonMobil is "optimistic and pushing forward" with its delayed Rovuma liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique and expects a final investment decision (FID) at the end of next year, a company official said on Thursday.


ExxonMobil and its partner Eni are developing the Rovuma LNG project in offshore Area 4 in northern Mozambique, with Exxon leading the construction and operation of the onshore liquefaction and related facilities, while Eni concentrates on the Coral floating LNG and upstream operations.


When TotalEnergies declared force majeure in 2021 due to an offensive by Islamic State-linked insurgents that threatened its Area 1 Mozambique LNG plant, ExxonMobil was also affected due to the development of shared and common facilities, such as an LNG jetty and offloading facility.


"We recognize there are challenges, and there are. We recognize that those challenges can be overcome if we work together," Arne Gibbs, General Manager at ExxonMobil Mozambique, told an energy conference in Maputo. "My message is quite simple…We are optimistic, we are pushing forward," he said of a project expected to enter a front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase in a few months.

The project, initially slated for 15 MM metric tpy, has been redesigned to a new modular, electric LNG 18-MM metric tpy plant that offers more flexibility and produces less harmful emissions, Gibbs said.


"It was important to change our design to a project that is ready-made, that is fit for purpose for the current business environment, including the attention to CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases (GHG)," he added.


In March, Credit Agricole said it would not provide financing to two major LNG projects, including Rovuma, citing commitments to refrain from new fossil fuel developments. Gibbs said the company recognized that the security situation had improved significantly, due to the intervention of a regional military force as well as military support from Rwanda to Mozambique.


Exxon said in February that it was monitoring security developments in the Cabo Delgado province, where Islamic State-linked militants launched a new wave of attacks this year.


(Reporting by Wendell Roelf and Manuel Mucari; writing by Nellie Peyton and Wendell Roelf; Editing by Jason Neely and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)


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