11 May 2010
Maputo — Mozambican Energy Minster Salvador Namburete declared in Maputo on Tuesday that the government remains committed to mobilising investment in biofuels.
Namburete was speaking at the opening of an international conference on bio-energy markets.
He noted the damaging economic effects of dependence on fossil fuels, and said that oil-importing countries would have had much higher rates of growth over the past decade, had it not been for the sharp increases in fuel prices.
To minimise the impact of rising fuel prices, the government had to diversify the sources of energy. "This situation demands a combined solution of using alternative, renewable sources of energy, and the resort to low cost technologies which will ensure that more people have access to energy, and will reduce dependence on oil", said Namburete.
He stressed that Mozambique has been promoting the use of renewable energy, including biofuels. Apart from providing alternative energy for industrial investments, biofuels also provided an opportunity to generate income and employment.
"Our determination to advance with these initiatives seeking to diversify the energy matrix also results from our commitment to joint efforts to ensure energy security and stability, and to react to the phenomenon of global warning", added the Minister.
Currently 26 biofuel projects are under way in Mozambique. Most are still at the stage of seed multiplication, and the first harvest is not scheduled until 2012.
Namburete stressed that Mozambique can produce biofuels competitively because of its favourable agro-ecological conditions, the availability of soil and water, its favourable geographical location, and the existence of port and storage facilities.
The conference, which brings together representatives of African countries and potential investors, is due to end on Thursday.