The US’ Export-Import Bank has tweaked the loan it is providing to the Mozambique LNG project to include work offshore.
The scale of the facility was also reduced, from $5 billion to $4.7bn. The debt will help support 16,700 jobs in the US over five years, EXIM said. It will also nearly double the number of US suppliers involved, to 68, up by 31.
The bank had first approved a loan for the Mozambique project in September 2019. Of the debt amount, an estimated $1.8bn will go to offshore works on the East African development.
The new side of the loan will add in suppliers from two more states, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Follow-on sales are expected to provide more jobs across the US, it said.
“EXIM’s financing for the Mozambique LNG project continues to strongly support President Trump’s Prosper Africa Initiative to unlock opportunities for US businesses in Africa,” said EXIM president and chairman Kimberly Reed.
The official went on to say that private financing had not been available for Mozambique LNG because of its “size, complexity and risk”.
There also seems to have been a degree of geopolitical completion, with Reed saying that China and Russia had been “slated to finance this deal before our EXIM board quorum was restored by the US Senate one year ago.”
Support from the US president and a bipartisan Congress would help “ensure the use of ‘Made in the USA’ products and services, without ceding ground to countries like China and Russia”, the EXIM head said.
The statement directly referenced the desire to advance the US’ place in the world with respect to China.
The Prosper Africa plan was launched in December 2018 with the aim of stimulating trade between the US and China.
Work on Mozambique LNG ground to a halt in mid-April owing to an outbreak of coronavirus in the area. Despite this, contract awards have continued.
Portugal’s Mota-Engil in partnership with Belgium’s Besix won a $365 million contract from the CCS contractor group at the end of April for a pier bridge and offloading facility. Work should take 32 months.
The US’ W-Industries also announced it had won work on onshore subsea support modules for the Golfinho field. The company did not reveal the value of the contract, describing it only as significant.