Production of biofuels in Mozambique is no longer viable following drop in oil prices

21 April 2017

The production of biofuel from Jatropha mollissima “is something to forget,” said Almirante Dima, the deputy national director of Hydrocarbons and Energy at the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy of Mozambique.

Dima explained his assertion based on the costs of production of bio-diesel being higher than for conventional gasoline and diesel.

The planting of jatropha for fuel production was a scheme set up by the Mozambican government as a way of replacing fossil fuel imports, as the plant grows in practically the whole country.

Dimas, quoted by Mozambican newspaper O País, recalled that at the time the price per barrel of oil was over US$130, making it economically feasible to produce liquid fuels from other sources.

The requirement to mix biofuels with fossil fuels was due to have come into force in 2012, with petrol stations being expected to mix 10% ethanol with 90% gasoline and 3.0% biofuel with 97% fossil fuel diesel, percentages that were based on the installed capacity for the production of these fuels in Mozambique.

The Mozambican government estimated at the time that the fuel import bill, which was valued at US$500 million per year, could be reduced by US$22 million.

But the scheme, which had the support of the Brazilian government, has not gone ahead because of the global economic crisis, which shrank funding until it became impracticable due to economic circumstances. (macauhub)