Italian President Sergio Mattarella met his Mozambican counterpart Filipe Nyusi in Maputo on Tuesday (July 5th) for discussions centered on gas exploitation and supply, as Rome seeks to reduce its energy dependence on Russia.

The visit comes as natural gas production off Mozambique by Italian energy giant Eni, which heads the 6.2 billion euro project, is due to start this semester.

“The upcoming start of liquefied natural gas exports from the Coral Sul site, managed by Eni, is an important milestone that shows how valuable our cooperation is,” Mattarella told a press conference in the city. Mozambican capital.

Deep water drilling

The Coral-Sul vessel, the first offshore natural gas liquefaction platform deployed in the deep waters of the African continent, with an annual production capacity of 3.4 million tonnes, arrived off the coast of Mozambique in January 2022 .

A large-scale jihadist attack in March 2021 in the northeast of the country suspended the gas race of the world giants in the sector. The French TotalEnergies has suspended until further notice a project weighing 16.5 billion euros.

But Eni, by betting on the liquefaction of gas in the open sea, seems to be doing well and has maintained its production targets. In June, the company confirmed progress in installing its platform.

Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Italy has embarked on a diplomatic offensive in Africa to get out of its dependence on Russian gas. Agreements have been signed with Congo, Angola and Algeria. Italy is one of the largest European gas consumers, 95% of its needs being imported, 45% of which from Russia.