SOUTH Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) confirmed on Thursday that it is part of a consortium of banks providing $15bn funding for French energy major Total’s Mozambique liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.
Reuters reported unnamed sources as saying last week that Total had secured $14.4bn in funding for the project with a group of about 20 lenders.
RMB, owned by FirstRand Bank, said the signing of $15bn in financing was scheduled for June.
‘It will be a remarkable achievement in the circumstances,’ Jonathan Ross, head of oil and gas coverage at RMB, said in a statement, adding that other projects have experienced delays.
‘The backdrop could not have been worse for Total and partners to raise huge volumes of long tenor funding – the economic fallout of Covid-19 has put enormous pressure on banks’ funding and capital and has triggered an oil price crash.’
Exxon Mobil in early April delayed approval of its $30bn Rovuma LNG project in Mozambique as the Covid-19 pandemic forced the industry to rein in spending.
Total concluded the acquisition of Anadarko’s 26.5 percent interest in the Mozambique LNG project for $3.9bn in September. It is expected to start production in 2024.