The Mozambican government and the American company Anadarko says progress has been made in implementing Anadarko’s plans to set up a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.

Their optimism was expressed after a meeting in Maputo last week between Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario and Anadarko representatives. This was a follow-up to President Filipe Nyusi’s visit in September to the Anadarko headquarters in Houston, Texas.

“We have held this sort of meeting regularly,” said the Chairperson of Mozambique’s National Petroleum Institute (INP), Carlos Zacarias last Friday. “It was a good meeting, and we could see that there are palpable and positive results. Naturally they need to be gone into in greater depth to implement the project in the Rovuma Basin.

“We are approaching our final goal, which is to begin the activities, and we are also removing possible obstacles which could throw implementation of the project.”

Anadarko Vice-President John Grant said great progress had been made with the legal aspects of project implementation. “Also discussed were technical aspects concerning construction of the port, of the maritime terminal, and of the LNG factories,” he said.

The meeting with the Prime Minister also covered the resettlement of people living in the Afungi Peninsula, in Palma district, where the facilities will be built.

Anadarko is the operator of Rovuma Basin Offshore Area One, with a holding of 26.5 per cent. The other members of the consortium are Mitsui of Japan (20 per cent), the Indian companies ONGC Videsh (16 per cent), Oil India (four per cent) and BRPL Ventures (10 per cent), PTT of Thailand (8.5 per cent), and Mozambique’s own National Hydrocarbon Company, EMH (15 per cent).

So far, the exploration of Area One indicates that it contains more than 75 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas reserves. The consortium hopes to begin LNG production in the first quarter of 2020.

However, Anadarko has not yet announced its final investment decision, and, speaking to reporters earlier in the week, ENH chairperson Oscar Mitha said he was not expecting the decision until the third quarter of 2017.

Initially, Anadarko planned to produce 12 million tonnes of LNG a year, using two trains. Later it said it hopes to raise production to 20 million tonnes a year.