New ethanol factory opens in Mozambique

18 May 2012

The ethanol factory owned by NDZiLO in Mozambique’s Dondo province, was opened Thursday and has a production capacity of 2 million litres of ethanol made from cassava, the business’ partners said.

A partnership between US venture capital company CleanStar Ventures, and Denmark’s Novozymes, NDZiLO intends to provide an improved solution for cooking meals to residents of Mozambican urban areas, where the price of charcoal has risen three-fold over the last three years. Ethanol use will also reduce smoke produced by burning charcoal and reduce the number of trees cut down to make it.

As well as CleanStar Ventures and Novozymes, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has invested in the project’s carbon credits and US company ICM has donated materials and labour and provided a substantial financial contribution.

When it is operating at its maximum capacity the factory will produce 20,000 litres of fuel per week, made from cassava grown by farmers in the area using a crop rotation system developed by the company’s agricultural specialists, which will be shipped to Maputo once a week, according to Andre Roberts, the factory’s operations director.

The factory is currently operating at a quarter of its full capacity as the teams that sell the stoves and the fuel need to sign more contracts, although 500 stoves have already been sold and there are orders for another 2,200.

Roberts said he expected there would be a surplus of cassava and that the company was looking into building a cassava flour production unit. (macauhub)