Maputo — The French oil and gas company Total has said that, while it may use infrastructures in the French Indian Ocean possession of Mayotte for some offshore operations to support its liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, it will continue to base its operations in the Cabo Delgado provincial capital, Pemba.
Wednesday's issue of the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique" reported that Total was considering setting up its logistical base for the LNG project on Mayotte.
It claimed that the Total Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Pouyanne, has been negotiating with the Mayotte authorities to base its offshore operations on the island, and to store equipment there.
Total heads the consortium which is developing the LNG project in Palma district. With an investment estimated at 23 billion US dollars, the two gas liquefaction plants that Total and its partners intend to build on the Afungi Peninsula will be the largest foreign investment ever in Mozambique.
But, in a statement sent to AIM, Total has denied that it intends to abandon Pemba. Instead, it declared that it will run its offshore operations from Pemba, and that the London-based company Technip FMC, the major offshore contractor to the project, will share the facilities in both Total logistical base and the port of Pemba, operated by Mozambique's port and rail company, CFM.
Nonetheless Total added that the project "is investigating options to carry some offshore support operations in the region to optimize part of its logistical chain and planning including in Mayotte by using existing infrastructures".
Total added that the LNG Project "remains focused on the delivery of its local content objectives, including the ambitious goal of awarding 2.5 billion US dollars in contracts to Mozambican owned or registered companies".
"Our contractors have a central role in this, and our focus is on ensuring all contractors meet all legal and contractual obligations and take appropriate steps to support and develop local businesses and the local workforce, while also advancing the project on time and within budget", the Total statement concluded.