MAPUTO– Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has inaugurated an ocean terminal to receive shipments of gas for home consumption — butane or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) — at the central port of Beira in Sofala Province, some 1,200 kilometres north of here on Monday.

The terminal has the capacity to fill 5,000 bottles of gas and 12 trucks a day and will supply cooking gas to homes in the central and northern provinces of the country as well as to neighbouring countries.

The terminal was built at the initiative of State-owned fuel company, Petromoc, at a cost of 38 million US dollars, of which 31 million USD financing was provided by the Export-Import Bank of India, while the remaining seven million USD came from Petromoc’s own funds.

According to Petromoc chairperson Fernando Uache, the terminal contains three installations which can hold 1,000 tonnes of gas each. The operational costs of importing and distributing gas will now be greatly reduced, he said.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Nyusi said the consumption of domestic gas rose to 34,000 tonnes in 2017. He stressed the importance of gas replacing firewood and charcoal as a fuel for home consumption to reduce the pressure on Mozambique’s forests.

In the context of the fight against deforestation, the government is encouraging the Mozambican private sector to expand the distribution chain for domestic gas, so as to facilitate massive use of this fuel. This terminal will reduce the cost of the logistics involved in placing gas in the cities and towns of central and northern Mozambique, he noted.

Nyusi added that one of the challenges facing the government is to build an oil refinery to serve not only Mozambique but the southern Africa region, and which will improve efficiency in importation, storage and and consumption of petroleum products.

This would require the collaboration of the Mozambican business sector, which he regarded as a privileged partner of the government in sustainable development.