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September 09, 2009

Mozambique government approves new projects for biofuels

Mozambique's Council of Ministers approved in Maputo, on 19 August, another two major projects for the production of biofuels, as part of the government's strategy to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels.

Both Enerterra SA, a company with Portuguese and Mozambican interests, and Zambezi Grown Energy Limited, with Mozambican, Asian and South African interests, will implement these projects in the central province of Sofala.

The Council of Ministers also approved a new resolution that grants temporary Land Use and Exploitation Rights (DUAT) to both companies to start their business. According to the Council of Ministers spokesperson, Luis Covane, Enerterra has been granted an area covering 18,920 hectares in the locality of Mazamba, administrative post of Inhaminga, district of Cheringoma, for the production of Jatropha. This project is budgeted at 53 million US dollars, and is expected to employ 5,000 seasonal workers, and 25 permanent staff, of which 20 will be Mozambicans, and five foreigners.

Ten percent of bio-diesel produced, which quantity was not disclosed, will be used for domestic consumption and the balance, 90 per cent will be for export, mainly to Europe.

As for Zambeze Grown Energy Limited, the government granted 15,000 hectares in the district of Chemba, also in the province of Sofala, for the production of sugar cane for energy generation and bio-diesel. The project is budgeted at US$224 million and aimed to produce 100 million litres of alcohol annually.

'Of the 100 million litres of alcohol produced per year, 10 percent will be sold in the domestic market and the balance exported to Europe, USA and Japan, while the electricity produced will be integrated into the national grid,' said Covane.

According to the investors, the project will employ 2,104 Mozambicans and 34 foreigners. These two companies will join some other 12 companies that are currently investing in the production biofuels in the country.

allafrica.com

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