Total guarantees the payment of "outstanding amounts" to SMEs

Total assured the Mozambican Head of State, Filipe Nyusi, the payment of "outstanding amounts" to small and medium enterprises contracted in the natural gas project in Cabo Delgado, a source from the Maputo executive told Lusa on Wednesday.

The French oil company gave the guarantees during a meeting on Monday in Paris between the head of state and the president of Total, Patrick Pouyanné, as part of Filipe Nyusi's working visit to France.

"Total ensures the payment of outstanding amounts with small and medium Mozambican companies contracted under the implementation of the Golfinho/Atum project," a government source, who accompanied the meeting, told Lusa.

Mozambique and Total reaffirmed they have common objectives in the project to develop natural gas in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

"We are working with the support of several friendly countries for a better capacity building of our armed forces and to have better logistical and intelligence information conditions" to stop the action of insurgents in Cabo Delgado, the source advanced.

In the meeting with Filipe Nyusi, Total expressed its commitment to resume the natural gas project "as soon as safety conditions are restored."

Total suspended activities at the Afungi natural gas exploration project following attacks by armed groups on March 24, then activated the "force majeure" clause in contractual relations with its partners in the venture.

Speaking to journalists on Monday in Paris, the head of state said that Total will return to Mozambique when everything "is calm," referring to the armed conflict in the north of the country, after meeting with the chairman of the board of the oil company.

"Total can demand that there is tranquility and there is peace to develop its economic projects. [...] It has helped in terms of social responsibility, with hospitals and schools, they have helped in the distribution of water to the population. [Total will return] when it is calm," assured the Mozambican President, in statements to journalists.

At Monday's meeting, the chairman of Total's board of directors said that the company had experienced a "dramatic" situation.

"Of course we faced a dramatic situation in Cabo Delgado, in Palma, recently, so we had to make decisions," namely "not to keep staff in Afungi," he said, adding that the company has "full" confidence in the Mozambican government to appease the region.

"As soon as Cabo Delgado returns to peace, Total will return," the CEO of the French oil company assured.

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