Biodiesel producer in Mozambique at risk of losing its exploration license

25 July 2012

Italian and Mozambican-owned company Aviam, Lda. May lose its exploration license on 10,000 hectares of land for planting jatropha in the district of Nacala-a-Velha, in Mozambique’s Nampula province, due to its inability to carry out the project, Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias reported.

Citing the Nacala-a-Velha district administrator, Daniel Chapo, the newspaper said that the company was not complying with the project’s schedule both in economic and social terms. The project is estimated to cost US$20 million.

“When a project is submitted to the Investment Promotion Centre and to the Office of Special Economic Development Areas it has to be accompanied by a plan that must be strictly adhered to and that is not happening with Aviam, particularly in terms of deadlines for carrying out each component,” noted the administrator.

The project included planting 10,000 hectares of jatropha, importing machinery to set up a biodiesel factory as well as the social component which, in its turn, included construction of a health centre, a school, a staff canteen, a drinking water fountain, and other facilities.

So far the company has planted only 150 hectares of jatropha, apparently to serve as a nursery.

After plans to build an oil refinery in the area were dropped, the population of Nacala-a-Velha saw the Aviam project as a solution to the chronic lack of formal employment in the area. (macauhub)