Mozambique's Dream Of Being A Wealthy Oil Nation In Blur

By Staff Writer | May 09, 2017 05:19 AM EDT

Mozambique's dream of being a superpower country in terms of gas resource might not come true after all. Reports said that the construction in the fishing town of Palma has fallen far behind the schedule, making the fate of the country uncertain.

In an article published by, the small, palm-fringed Palma was originally conceived as the symbol of Mozambique's shiny future. The town was seen by experts as having the potential to be one of the world's largest liquefied natural gas projects.

However, the construction is already behind of its schedule after gas prices fell, making the town's supposed-to-be spectacular future becoming a blur. Worse, the government of Mozambique was tagged in a $2 billion debt scandal.

It is not only the source of gas that makes the people of Mozambique's small town worried. Palma's 3,000 villages got their hopes up when the construction also promised not just infrastructure but also new jobs.

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The gas reserves were discovered in Mozambique last 2010. It was estimated to have 180 trillion cubic feet, or five trillion cubic meters, in the surrounding of Rovuma Basin, which was the biggest natural gas find in the recent decades.

In an article published by Arab News, experts previously predicted that Mozambique could actually be in line with wealthy Arab countries with the discovery of natural oil. They are described as the future African version of Qatar.

However, exploitation of the reserves was quickly done. Now, residents of the Mozambique town were looking for opportunities that could save themselves from the poverty.

"It's only through such projects that we will get proper jobs because otherwise we just depend on the sea," Pedro Abuda-Nchamo, a 46-year-old fisherman, said. He also said that ever since the natural gas was discovered in Mozambique, the town has started to change.

Excavators and construction vehicles started working on the planned liquefaction plant and facilities exported. Another one is the rise of a gated residential complex for the expected influx of skilled workers. A new shopping mall in Mozambique was also expected.

But the anticipated gas project has faced some strong headwinds. Initial estimates of the gas project in Mozambique came on stream last year but not, the date has been shifted to 2023 or worse, later. In addition, the plunge of global gas prices has led some energy companies to take things slow on capital expenditure.

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