Total says it 'trusts the government of Mozambique' after ambush by Islamic militants

28 March 2021 - 13:18
By alex patrick AND Alex Patrick
Total's LNG  plant in  the Afungi peninsula of Mozambique.
Image: Mozambique LNG Total's LNG plant in the Afungi peninsula of Mozambique.

French multinational integrated oil and gas company Total says it is reducing staff on the Afungi site in northern Mozambique and that the $20bn offshore natural gas project is now “obviously” suspended.

This after Islamic militants attacked the Palma village close to the company's natural gas complex last week. Reuters reported that at least one person was killed and several wounded in the attack.

The attack came hours after Total said it was safe for workers to gradually return to the construction site on Wednesday.  

According to a statement by Total at the weekend, the company said it was monitoring the situation carefully based on information received from authorities and local teams.

Total said its “absolute priority” was to ensure the safety and security of the people who work on the project.

“Total expresses its sympathy and support to the people of Palma, to the relatives of the victims and those affected by the tragic events of the past days ... There are no victims among the staff employed on the site of the project in Afungi.

“Total has decided to reduce to a strict minimum level the workforce on the Afungi site.

“The remobilisation of the project that was envisaged at the beginning of the week is obviously now suspended.

“Total trusts the government of Mozambique whose public security forces are currently working to take back the control of the area,” the company statement read.

Wednesday's attack follows the December attack on the Palma area which led to non-essential Total staff being evacuated from the site.

Before the attack the company said security had improved in the area with a 25km protective area around the Afungi site.