Central African Mining and Exploration Company to produce ethanol in Mozambique

12 October 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 12 Oct – The Central African Mining and Exploration Company (CAMEC), which is based in London, is to produce 120 million liters of ethanol a year in Mozambique, with the contract for the deal signed Wednesday in Maputo with the Mozambican government.

The Mozambican minister of agriculture, Erasmo Muhate, signed the contract for Mozambique and Izak Holtzhausen signed for CAMEC for a project worth US$510 million in which the raw material – sugar cane – will be planted in an area of 30,000 hectares in the Massingir district of Gaza province.

As well as producing ethanol for the domestic and regional markets, the project will generate electricity for local use, create 7,000 jobs and have annual income of US$40 million from 2010.

CAMEC’s responsibility I the project, named Procana, is, under the terms of the contract, to outline the land for planting sugar cane and start construction of the factory in the next year.

However, the Procana project is already facing anger from the region’s farmers who say that the Massingir dam does not provide enough water to irrigate the sugar cane plantation and their own plantations of rice and maize further downstream on the Limpopo river.

The farmers argues that Procana plans to use 950 million cubic meters of the 1 billion cubic meters of water available in the dam for irrigation leaving them with just 50 million cubic meters, but the Public Works ministry press officer has said that Massigir has enough water for all the plantations.

CAMEC is better known for its mining activities, such as cobalt and copper exploration in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In Mozambique CAMEC has coal mining concessions and has set up DECA, a company for sale of agricultural products, in the city of Chimoio. (macauhub)