The African Energy Chamber (AEC) (www.EnergyChamber.org) met with H.E. Carlos Zacarias, the newly elected Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of Mozambique, to discuss the role the country’s gas has and continues to play in making energy poverty history in Africa. With Mozambique eager to resume activities across large-scale gas projects, improving local content and the energy transition on the back of energy sector advancements, both the AEC and the minister committed to working together to scale up investment, kickstart development and drive sustainable economic growth in southern Africa.
The AEC delegation, led by Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk, met with the minister to discuss Mozambique’s gas miracle and the steps that need to be taken to get development back on track. With global majors declaring force majeure in 2021 and suspending project activities due to insurgency in the northern province of Cabo Delgado where TotalEnergies 13-million-ton onshore Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project and ExxonMobil’s 15-million-ton Rovuma LNG Liquefaction Plant are located, the government is focused on resuming these projects. In this regard, discussions centered around the role Mozambican gas plays both in Africa and internationally. With Europe urgently seeking alternative gas supplies to ease the reliance on Russian energy, and over 600 million people currently living without access to electricity in Africa, Mozambique’s gas could help meet demand both regionally and internationally. During the meeting, the minister emphasized this very point, making a strong case for gas monetization and domestic utilization above all else.
In line with these discussions, the role of the Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Company’s (ROMPCO) 865 km pipeline – which connects Mozambique’s gas-rich Pande and Temane fields with South Africa’s Secunda facility – was deliberated. With South Africa looking to rapidly scape up the utilization of natural gas in an effort to diversify its energy mix away from coal, Mozambique’s resources will prove critical. Accordingly, fast-tracking project developments in Cabo Delgado will not only improve domestic utilization and energy access but regional, with the expansion of the ROMPCO pipeline a key driver of these objectives.
Meanwhile, with the European Union declaring certain natural gas projects as green, the role of Mozambique’s resources in driving Africa’s transition to cleaner sources of fuel has been emphasized. Owing to its reduced emissions and wide availability, gas will not only be critical regarding climate change mitigation but ensuring energy poverty is made history by 2030.
“The AEC believes in Mozambique and Mozambican energy. As the continent moves forward with natural gas maximization and monetization, Mozambique cannot be left behind, but rather, should take a leading role in positioning Africa as a competitive gas economy. It is critical, therefore, that the government and all of the country’s players get the large-scale projects back on track. The AEC will be working closely with H.E. Zacarias as he works to grow the sector. The minister is committed to securing and encouraging more investment in the country and he wants to be a partner for current players, helping them grow in Mozambique,” states Ayuk,
Finally, the meeting emphasized the need for Mozambique to scale up SME development, with both the AEC and the minister making a strong case for local company-led energy expansion. Despite the role global oil majors play in driving large-scale project development, Mozambique’s domestic market and workforce have a critical role to play in the oil and gas industry, and ensuring inclusivity and equal opportunities will be key. In this sense, the minister is focused on local content and capacity building across the entire energy value chain, ensuring Mozambicans lead the development of the country’s energy sector. Therefore, the AEC will be supporting Mozambique in its efforts to ramp up the domestic market, ensuring mutually beneficial economic growth for years to come.