Mozambique launches international tender for butane gas supply

19 July 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 19 July – The Mozambican government launches an international tender Wednesday for the supply of butane gas as part of a string of measures aimed to ease shortages of this fuel in the country over the past two months, an official has said.

Energy Minister Salvador Namburete was cited by the daily Diario de Noticias newspaper as saying another measure being considered is the creation of a natural gas processing plant from the Pande and Temane fields in a venture valued at around US$ 5 million.

The two-year project is to be headed by state energy firm Petromoc, which is already carrying out preliminary technical studies and seeking investors for the scheme.

About 40 metric tons of butane gas are consumed daily by the Mozambican fuel sector, a demand that has not been met by Engen of South Africa, winner of the last international tender, since May.

Maputo’s energy minister said that mechanisms to derive compensation from Engel for breach of contract will be used by Mozambique.

Also at risk from reduced supply levels are Mozambique’s strategic reserves of gas, which are normally in excess of 700 tons.

Namburete said he hoped the process of finding a new gas supplier would be wrapped up within a month.

But as no other neighboring country, besides South Africa, is a gas exporter the cost of transport will be high and this will impact on the retail price of the gas, he added.

The minister also told Diario de Noticias that he regretted the shortages of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and pledged to resolve the situation, noting that scarcity of the same fuel is affecting South Africa. (macauhub)