Mozambique publishes law for foreign LNG investment


MAPUTO, Mozambique–Mozambique Wednesday published a law setting the framework for energy firms Anadarko and ENI’s multibillion-dollar gas projects, as the country gears up to become a leading exporter of liquefied gas. The law sets legal, labor and fiscal terms for the Texas-based Anadarko and Italy’s ENI, which plan to build liquefaction plants worth US$2 billion each in the offshore Rovuma Basin.

It allows them to keep revenue in bank accounts outside the country and pay expatriate employees in foreign currency. Fatima Mimbire, an analyst from the Maputo-based Centre for Public Integrity, stated that the decree was aimed at facilitating the production of liquefied natural gas, which will be exported from the country. Anadarko and ENI have since 2011 made gas discoveries totaling 200 trillion cubic feet, raising the status of the impoverished southern African country as an emerging natural gas frontier. The export of natural gas is not expected start before 2019, said Fabrizio Trilli, chief executive of ENI Mozambique, at the second gas summit held in Maputo early in December. The publication of the decree came after the government in October launched the last exploration licenses cycle on 15 blocks covering 76,800 square kilometers. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Mozambique’s proven reserves leapt from 4.5 trillion cubic feet to 100 trillion cubic feet this year.