Mozambican government invests US$14 million in biofuel factory

16 March 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 16 March – The government of Mozambique plans to invest US$14 million in a biofuel factory in Maputo province and is preparing another unit for export to the European Union, Martina Todd, a consultant with LMC international said Wednesday.

Todd, who heads the consultancy contracted by the government to advise on the sugar sector strategy, told Mozambican newspaper, Notícias that the ethanol distillery, which will process sugar cane, will be built in Xinavane because, “it makes sense, from a logistic point of view,” as the south of the country is the main market for ethanol.

Last week, state oil company Petromoc and an agricultural cooperative called Cofamosa announced they would invest US$125 million on an industrial unit to manufacture biodiesel from sugar cane, in Moamba district.

This announcement followed one by Portuguese group Nutasa, which as Macauhub reported, will invest in a unit of the same kind in the region of Maputo, and is awaiting tax exemption on this kind of fuel to move ahead.

Todd also said there were plans to build a distillery in Marromeu, to supply the European Union market.

This project, she told the paper, would make it possible to, “reduce the use of convertible currency on importing gasoline, helping to mitigate the loss of income from exports resulting from the fall in sugar prices in the European Union, as wella s reducing carbon emissions.”

The development of “green” fuels is part of the Mozambican government’s efforts to diversify its sources of income from the sugar industry and reduce its dependence on oil imports. (macauhub)