MOZAMBIQUE has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Chinese/Brazilian consortium to build a US$1.3bn coking coal plant in the northern province of Nampula.
A source in the Mozambican Ministry of Industry and Trade, told Team Buntu Africa that executives from China Brasil Xinnenghuan International Investment (CBSteel) signed the deal on 24 February in Mozambique, with government officials.
“CBSteel has indicated that construction work will start in the second half of the year and that the factory will take about a year to build,” the source said. “It is envisaged that 1,500 jobs will be created in the factory and that more jobs may spring up around the factory from supportive industries.”
The factory is expected to produce four million tonnes of coking coal a year, most of which will be exported to CBSteel’s steel mills in Brazil.
Commenting on the project, Mozambique’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Rajendra de Sousa said: “For us Mozambicans, this project will contribute to better management of our raw materials. We should thus increasingly build up the capacity of our local labour force, in order to accompany the growing competitiveness of industry.”
In October last year Sousa said he welcomed foreign investment in the country’s resources and suggested that Mozambique could solve it’s current economic crisis by selling gas in advance.
“The gas is here for the next 100 years,” Sousa said. “The more we delay its exploitation, the more we are sacrificing the next generation. I don’t want my grandson to be waiting for the gas”.