South Africa’s MBI looks for partner for biodiesel factory in Mozambique

30 March 2006

Johannesburg, South Africa, 30 March – South African company, Mozambique Biofuel Industries (MBI) is looking for an agricultural partner to invest in producing organic fuels in Mozambique, the fourth project of its kind to be announced in the past two months.

Johan Horak, director of MBI, told the South African press Wednesday that the company has an agreement with the Mozambican government to plant 500,000 hectares of oil producing plants, to be used for ethanol production.

To launch the plantation, MBI estimates that an investment of around US$17.5 million will be needed.

Ethanol production projects have generated a lot of interest from South African investors due to its cost advantages in relation to gasoline, the price of which has continuously risen over the last few years.

This month Mozambican state oil company Petromoc and a South African agricultural cooperative Cofamosa announced they would invest US$125 million on an industrial unit to manufacture biodiesel from sugar cane, in the district of Moamba.

This announcement followed one by Portuguese group Nutasa, which, as Macauhub reported, will invest in a similar unit in the Maputo region.

More recently, the Mozambican government said that it would invest US$14 million in a biofuel factory in Maputo province and is preparing a further unit for exports to the European Union. (macauhub)