Mozambique’s Gas to Bolster Regional Energy Security

With massive gas projects coming online in the coming years, Mozambique is poised to become a frontrunner in bolstering regional energy security with less carbon-intensive energy sources, supporting the continent’s energy transition.

Mozambique currently stands in the midst of a resource revolution. At 187 GW, the country has the largest potential for power generation in southern Africa, with major gas discoveries in its Rovuma Basin spelling the promise for a range of social and economic benefits such as additional foreign investment, a larger export base, and regional energy security. The resource-rich region in northern Mozambique holds the potential of up to 150 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, a bridge fuel that emits less carbon dioxide than oil and coal, and which is expected to pave the way for the region’s energy transition.

Boasting its credit as the largest private investment in Africa, oil and gas supermajor, TotalEnergies’ $20 billion Mozambique liquefied natural gas (LNG) project is the country’s first onshore LNG development and, upon completion in 2026, will have a production capacity of 13.1 million tons of LNG per year. The project will use feed gas from the Mozambique Area 1, located within the Rovuma Basin, with discoveries indicating an estimated resource base of approximately 75 tcf of recoverable gas. Fully committed to the long-term social and economic stability of the country, TotalEnergies is steadfast in its collaboration with Mozambique’s government and communities to develop these resources in a manner that is beneficial to the country’s people and its environment.

The Mozambique LNG Project has resumed operations this year following the halt of production due to an insurgent attack near to the construction camp in early-2021. Foundational towards diversifying Mozambique’s economic activities, the project will offer a number of opportunities for local communities to participate through professional training, short- to long-term employment and spurred economic growth. Additionally, the project’s strategic geographic location will also serve to meet international markets while meeting the growing energy demands within the southern African region, providing inputs for South Africa’s high energy demand while mitigating its reliance on coal, and processing natural gas into products such as petrol, diesel, fertilizer, and other chemical products for use in Zimbabwe.

Mozambique’s strong diplomatic ties with its neighbors has the potential to facilitate deals that provide answers to many of the region’s energy source challenges. In March this year, Mozambique entered a partnership with Zimbabwe for the extraction of natural gas from Mozambique’s Buzi and Temani regions in its Manica Province – nearby the Zimbabwean border – which will serve to energize the southern African country while providing a massive cutback to its energy import bill. Concurrently, cooperation between South Africa and Mozambique, in addition to their strategic proximity, will allow for a gas-sharing relationship that offers the potential to mitigate many of South Africa’s energy woes, serving as a crucial step towards the region’s transition towards a low-carbon economy.

Geared to promote regional integrated energy development while advancing long-term gas trade between South Africa and Mozambique, the Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Company (ROMPCO), a joint venture company formed to transport natural gas assets to markets in South Africa and within Mozambique, owns an 865km gas pipeline between the neighboring countries, which will convey up to 1.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas. In June 2022, South African integrated energy and chemical company, Sasol, agreed to sell a 30% equity interest in the joint venture to South African development company, iGas, and Mozambican natural gas production company, Companhia Mocambiçana de Gasoduto, while retaining operatorship of the pipeline.

Poised to significantly contribute towards increasing gas availability in the region, the Coral South Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) Project is a landmark development for Mozambique, further stimulating the country’s fledgling gas industry. The Coral South Project achieved the introduction of hydrocarbons to the Coral-Sul Floating LNG (FLNG) plant – with a gas liquefaction capacity of 3.4 million tons per year – in June 2022 from the Coral South Reservoir, putting into production approximately 450 billion cubic meters of gas from the Coral South Reservoir, located in Area 4 of the Rovuma Basin. The vessel is the first FLNG facility to be situated in the deep waters of the African continent and will place Mozambique on the global stage for gas development.

Increased access to energy supply and improved economic development within the region offers one of the most effective solutions to socioeconomic development in sub-Saharan Africa. There is no doubt that Mozambique, in collaboration with oil and gas giants such as TotalEnergies, is a frontrunner in the continent’s resource revolution, bolstering sub-Saharan Africa’s transition to a low-carbon economy while bringing energy to an increasing number of people every year.

This very narrative will be driven through many discussions at the continent’s premier energy event, African Energy Week (AEW) – taking place from October 18-21, 2022, in Cape Town. With gas representing the fuel of the future in Africa, AEW 2022 provides the perfect platform to network with regional energy leaders, sign gas-related deals and make decisions that will transform the African gas space.

AEW 2022 is the African Energy Chamber’s annual conference, exhibition and networking event. AEW 2022 unites African energy stakeholders with investors and international partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as the destination for energy investments. Key organizations such as the African Petroleum Producers Organization, as well as African heavyweights including Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, have partnered with AEW, strengthening the role the event will play in Africa’s energy future.

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*African Energy Chamber

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