Total pulls workers from Mozambique gas project

French energy company Total has withdrawn workers from a $20 billion gas project in the southern African country after a nearby jihadi attack.

The French fuel giant Total on Monday halted work on its $20 billion (€16.5 billion) gas project in Mozambique and withdrew all personnel because of the worsening security situation.

The project — on the northern Cabo Delgado province’s Afungi Peninsula — is the largest of several Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) investments aimed at transforming the southern African country’s economy.

Total had already suspended its work after jihadi insurgents killed dozens of civilians in the nearby town of Palma in March. The attack was the latest in a string of incidents in the gas-rich province.

“Considering the evolution of the security situation in the north of the Cabo Delgado province in Mozambique, Total confirms the withdrawal of all Mozambique LNG project personnel from the Afungi site,” the company said.

Total said it hoped that the security situation could be improved, without giving any further commitments about activities being resumed.

“Total expresses its solidarity with the government and people of Mozambique and wishes that the actions carried out by the government of Mozambique and its regional and international partners will enable the restoration of security and stability in Cabo Delgado province in a sustained manner,” it said.

The company said it was declaring force majeure, a clause that would free it from contractual obligations linked to the project on the grounds of an extraordinary event or circumstance.

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