September 6, 2007

Guebuza wants cooperation based on the private sector / $550 million bio-fuels project unveiled

During his visit in Brazil, President Armando Guebuza has defended a new way of cooperation, based on the participation of the private sector in exploiting business and investment opportunities in both countries. He expressed then, the hope that the result of this interaction will be highly fruitful for both countries and that it contributes to strengthen the role of the private sector as the propeller of relationship between Mozambique and Brazil. Guebuza invited other Brazilian companies to open businesses in Mozambique, taking advantage of the opportunities and the political stability that make the country a safe destination of investments.
Among the Brazilian companies already investing in Mozambique are the Vale do Rio Doce Company, that is investing in coal mining in Moatize, in the western Tete province, and also Odebrecht, Seden, and Camargo Correia, that are operating in the sector of construction of heavy engineering works. “The presence of companies this big and experienced means the confidence of Brazilian investors in Mozambique. It also means their insight to exploit the business potential in the country, in an environment where the government is continually committed, and through dialogue with the private sector to reduce the obstacles to good business performance”, said Guebuza.
In the meantime, state-owned Mozambican Petroleum Co. (PETROMOC) has unveiled a $550 million bio-fuels project aimed at easing an energy crunch of the country. Eugenio Silva, a senior PETROMOC official, said it would create about 800 jobs and lead to a maximum annual production of 226 million litres of ethanol and bio-diesel seven years after start-up. Sugar cane and jatropha, a drought-resistant shrub, will be planted on some 74.000 hectares of land as part of the joint project with COFAMOSA, which represents some 200 Mozambican and South African farmers, Silva said.
The proposed development will be located in Corrumane, some 100 km southwest of the capital Maputo. Officials have suggested that jatropha, ricin, african palm, and coconuts, all of which grow abundantly in Mozambique, could provide the raw material for bio-diesels, while sugar cane, maize and cassava could be used to produce ethanol. Mozambique also hopes to be able to export bio-fuels to neighbouring African nations and further abroad.
PETROMOC, which is 80-percent owned by the government and 20-percent owned by employees, operates 119 petrol stations in the country and has 35 percent of the domestic energy market. (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, Maputo / Rts)

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