Portugal’s Iberol to invest US$5 million in biodiesel in Mozambique

27 February 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 27 Feb – Portuguese food oil company Iberol plans to build a biodiesel production factory in Mozambique, costing some US$5 million and is currently awaiting the go-ahead for the project from the authorities, the company’s president told Macauhub.

João Rodrigues said that Iberol had presented its investment proposal to the Mozambican government at the beginning of February, and that it included a condition that trade and sale of organic fuels be tax exempt, which would require changes in the country’s legislation.

“We’re waiting. Everything is done, the machinery has been bought and is ready to be sent to Mozambique, but only when the government makes its decision will we go ahead with it,” Rodrigues told Macauhub.

According to Rodrigues, who is due to launch his company’s first biodiesel factory in Portugal in the next few months, only if the business is tax exempt “are there conditions to make the unit profitable.”

As soon as the necessary legislation is in place the unit can be assembled within six months, Rodrigues said, adding that he believed it could go into production by the end of the year.

The unit will have an annual production capacity of around 25,000 tons of fuel, which is made from plant matter such as copra (dried coconut flesh), sunflowers and cotton.

Currently Iberol (Nutasa group) has around 16,000 hectares of agricultural land in Mozambique, half of which grows copra and the other half growing sunflowers, cotton and other plants.

Last weekend, Iberol, whose main activity is production of cooking oil, opened a new factory in Munapo, northern Mozambique.

The company also plans to produce organic fuels in Angola some time in the future, preferably with a local partner, Rodrigues said, and is also looking at the Cape Verdean market. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH