05 Nov 2018 Blogpost Transport

Mozambique considers compressed natural gas and electric vehicles in their fuel economy strategy

Mozambique discussed the fuel economy baseline study findings in a national stakeholder workshop on 3 – 4 September 2018. Speaking at the workshop opening, the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, Alfredo Vasco Nogueira Nampete, spoke of the government’s commitment to ensuring a cleaner, fuel efficient vehicle fleet in the country. He also spoke of the country’s aim at becoming one of the energy producers in the region which would be supported by incorporating electric mobility as part of their fuel economy policy packages. Looking back, the introduction of low sulphur fuels in 2017 had contributed to the Mozambican Government’s Five-Year Program which provides for increased access to and availability of cleaner liquid fuels that ensures the sustainable and transparent management of the environment.

From the study findings, it was noted that the average age of the national fleet was 13 – 15 years with 70 – 80 per cent of the vehicles registered in the capital, Maputo. In recent years, there had been a significant increase in import of motorcycles, which accounted for 11 per cent of the national fleet. In addition, despite a recent decline in vehicle imports because of the country’s financial crisis, the national car fleet grew significantly, highlighting the urgency to take measures that can guarantee more fuel-efficient vehicles are imported into the country. Participants were informed that in December 2017, the government changed vehicle taxation to a differentiated tax based on engine capacity and age for vehicles less than seven years.

At the workshop, speakers also noted the large reserves of natural gas that Mozambique has, which could be utilized in the transport sector or for electricity generation. The Pande and Temane gas fields are estimated to have about 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and a further 200 trillion cubic feet in the Rovuma Basin. The country already has 2,400 vehicles powered by compressed natural gas, including 150 municipal buses. The government is planning to increase the uptake of compressed natural gas vehicles including minibuses through a collaboration with South Korea.

In his closing remarks, the Ministry's Deputy National Director of Hydrocarbons and Energy, Almirante Dima, mentioned that the government would consider the fuel economy labelling as one of quick wins in developing fuel economy strategies. He noted the importance of a collaborative and inclusive approach to support the fuel economy initiative, as several government agencies are involved. In addition, the need for improved data collection, as pointed out in the study, would be a critical next step for the government. He reiterated the need for Mozambique to combine fuel economy policies with vehicle emission standards to ensure long term gains to the country.

Mozambique is one of the over 20 countries in Africa that are supported through the Global Fuel Economy Initiative, backed by UN Environment and other partners, to carry out fuel economy baseline analysis. The fuel economy analysis in Mozambique is funded by the FIA Foundation.