Exxon weighs resuming Mozambican LNG project

Exxon Mobil is considering resuming a liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique, but with an even bigger capacity than the one it shelved partly because of an Islamic State-linked insurgency.

In a statement published Friday in Mozambican newspaper O Pais, the US energy giant called for expressions of interest to design and build an LNG plant producing as much as about 18 million tons a year. Earlier plans envisaged a 15.2 million-ton project.

Exxon’s announcement comes after TotalEnergies SE said last month that it’s considering restarting its own LNG export venture Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province. The projects were halted two years ago following an attack on the town of Palma, but a mix of local and foreign troops have since made progress in containing the violence that’s left more than 4 600 people dead.

The LNG projects offer an economic lifeline for impoverished Mozambique, with potential investments exceeding the southern African nation’s annual output. The government has also been counting on LNG export revenues to service its debt, including a US$900 million eurobond (about R16.5 billion).

Exxon is part of a consortium with Eni SpA of Italy, which in November exported Mozambique’s first LNG production from a floating vessel offshore. That plant has an annual capacity of 3.4 million tons.

The much larger onshore project would involve modules of 1.5 million tons, according to the company’s statement. The deadline for submitting expressions of interest is the end of this month.-Fin24

Volkswagen to invest in mines

Volkswagen plans to invest in mines to bring down the cost of battery cells, meet half of its own demand and sell to third-party customers, the carmaker's board member in charge of technology said.

Its strategy aligns with a wider trend of carmakers seeking greater control over parts of the supply chain traditionally left to third parties, from energy generation to raw material sourcing, as they compete for scarce resources they urgently need to meet electrification targets.

Europe's biggest carmaker wants its battery unit PowerCo to become a global battery supplier, as well as meet half its own demand with plants mostly in Europe and North America, Thomas Schmall told Reuters in an interview.

PowerCo will start by delivering cells to Ford for the 1.2 million vehicles the U.S. carmaker is building in Europe on Volkswagen's electric MEB platform, he said.

"The bottleneck for raw materials is mining capacity - that's why we need to invest in mines directly," he said.

The carmaker was partnering on supply deals with mining companies in Canada, where it will build its first North American battery plant.

Such partnerships guaranteeing finance can cut years off mine development times for junior miners, John Meyer, senior analyst at boutique investment bank SP Angel, said.-Fin24


Allgemeine Zeitung 2023-06-06

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