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Campaigners Urge Lenders to Halt Funding for Total’s Mozambique LNG Project

Environmental campaigners have urged banks to withdraw financing and guarantees for the $20-billion Mozambique LNG project led by supermajor TotalEnergies, claiming that the plant’s construction and operation would contribute to climate change and exacerbate abuses of human rights in the country.

“As a critical financial supporter of the project, you bear a direct and important responsibility in its dreadful impacts,” more than 100 climate activist groups wrote in a letter to the lenders seen by Reuters.

The warning from the environmentalists comes just as the French supermajor is considering the restart of the project after it was halted in 2021 following attacks close to the facility.

TotalEnergies holds a 26.5% stake in the LNG project, which was put on hold in 2021 following Islamist militant attacks in towns close to the site. The project site is close to Palma in the Cabo Delgado province, where Islamic State-affiliated militants have been active for a few years. In the spring of 2021, Islamic State-affiliated militants raided Palma in attacks that left dozens of people killed.  

In April this year, Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi said that it is now safe for TotalEnergies to restart work on the $20-billion Mozambique LNG project, but the French supermajor said the decision to resume construction is up to all shareholders in the venture.

Last month, TotalEnergies rejected accusations in a complaint against the company for “manslaughter and a failure to assist people in danger” during the terrorist attacks that took place in northern Mozambique in March 2021. 

At the time TotalEnergies said “The decision to restart the project depends on the ability to complete the project under good security conditions. This position is shared by all of Mozambique LNG’s partners.”

“Current activities on site are limited to strengthening security infrastructure and improving access roads,” TotalEnergies said in October.  

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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