JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) confirmed on Thursday that it is part of a consortium of banks providing $15 billion funding for French energy major Total’s Mozambique liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.
Sources told Reuters last week that Total had secured $14.4 billion in funding for the project with a group of about 20 lenders.
RMB, owned by FirstRand Bank, said the signing of $15 billion 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 $30 billion 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% interest in the Mozambique LNG project for $3.9 billion in September. It is expected to start production in 2024.
Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by David Goodman