Mozambique: Mozambican government receives 21 biofuel production projects

23 June 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 23 Jan – The Mozambican government has already received 21 projects for biofuel production in the country, one of which ahs already been given a “green light” the author of the first study on the feasibility of the industry in Mozambique said Friday in Maputo.

“There are 21 projects that have been submitted to the government,” said Edward Hoyt of US company Ecoenergy, which drew up the study –entitled, “Evaluation of Biofuels in Mozambique” – which will be the basis for the country to establish a national strategy to develop this industry.

According to a source from the Mozambican energy ministry, some of these projects are “at an advanced stage of assessment.”

Declining to identify the projects received, the source from the Centre for Investment Promotion (CPI), the Mozambican government institution that approves investment proposals, told Portuguese news agency Lusa that “an avalanche of investment projects for the area of biofuels was being assessed at this moment and their approval depends on various factors.”

“There is a process underway of zoning the land that is appropriate for growing biofuels and those that should be set aside for food production, the results of which will be known soon.” From then on it will be possible to know the feasibility of many of those projects,” the source said.

In October the Mozambican government approved the first ethanol factory in the country, a project expected to cost 345 million euros and set up by foreign and Mozambican owned company, PROCANA.

PROCANA plans to produce 120 million litres of ethanol per year across an area of 30,000 hectares, allowing the country to produce biofuels, not only for domestic consumption, but also for export, particularly to southern Africa.

In March of this year, Portugal’s Galp Energia also entered the “race” by signing a memorandum of cooperation with Visabeira Moçambique to develop an agri-industrial project for the production sale and distribution of biofuels.

Geocapital, the holding company for investment in Portuguese-speaking countries of businessmen Stanley Ho and Jorge Ferro Ribeiro, also aims to establish itself as one of the main biofuel producers worldwide by 40, basing its operations in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau. (macauhub)