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March 20, 2008

Mozambique to invest in $400 million sugar cane ethanol production

Mozambican state oil company, Petromoc, plans to invest US$400 million in order to make an sugar-cane ethanol production project viable in Maputo province, according to a report in Mozambican newspaper Notícias.

The paper said that the project, which also involves the Committee for Facilitating Agriculture between Mozambique and South Africa (Cofamosa) was estimated to produce between 220 and 230 million liters of bio-ethanol per year.

In the pilot project to address the problem of the country's increased energy bill, Petromoc last year set up a unit for processing biodiesel at its facilities in Matola, which produces 80,000 liters per day.

Petromoc is now looking into the possibility of producing sugar cane for ethanol production in the districts of Moamba and Magude, over 29,000 hectares.

Some of this land made up the irrigation area of Sábie, a project built in order to make viable what was to be the second-largest grain producing area in the south of Mozambique.

As part of the preparation of specific components of the feasibility study, which is to be funded by the Spanish government, last week in Maputo a service provision contract was signed between Petromoc and Spanish consultancy Europrysma.

A source form the board of Petromoc told the paper that, as well as ethanol production, the project included firewater production and electricity generation.

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