Investments by the Dutch companies Shell and Heineken in Mozambique are at an advanced stage of implementation, according to the director of the government’s Investment Promotion Centre (CPI), Lourenco Sambo.
Speaking in the Hague to Mozambican reporters who are accompanying President Filipe Nyusi’s official visit to Holland, Sambo said that the investment by Shell is to set up a “gas to liquid” (GTL) plant, that will transform natural gas from the Rovuma Basin, in the far north of Mozambique, into liquid fuels
“We shall visit Shell and we will have a business meeting to check exactly what the company has done and is doing in this regard”, said Sambo.
In January, Shell was one of the three winners of the tender for the use of Rovuma Basin gas for the Mozambican domestic market. Shell’s proposal was to use 310 to 330 million cubic feet of gas a day to produce 38,000 barrels of liquid fuels, and 50 to 80 megawatts of electricity.
The other successful bidders were the Norwegian company Yara International, which requested 80 to 90 million cubic feet of gas a day to produce fertilizer and to generate 50 to 80 megawatts of power, and GTL Energy of Australia which plans to use 41.8 million cubic feet of gas a day to generate 250 megawatts of electricity.
Sambo said that Shell’s investment in this project will be at least 500 million US dollars. The investments by Shell, Yara and GTL will make use of 20 per cent of the Rovuma Basin gas.
As for Heineken, this company wants to build a brewery in Manhica district, about 80 kilometres north of Maputo, in which it is prepared to invest 100 million dollars.
But it is pushing for lower taxes on alcoholic drinks. “The great dilemma is that it wants taxes like the ones it enjoyed in Ethiopia, for example”, said Sambo. “We also think the tax is too high, because there are even drinks producers that are closing in Mozambique”.
Sambo said that a factory that used to produce spirits closed its doors because of the supposedly high level of tax. CDM (Beers of Mozambique), which produces the major brands of Mozambican beer, also decided not to branch out into spirits, because of the tax problem.
Sambo said the government intends to submit to the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, a bill to revise the tax “because it is a barrier to investment”.
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