Principle Energy Limited (PEL), a developer of biofuel projects in sub-Saharan Africa, just nabbed $10 million from cleantech fund Craton Equity Partners to build a sustainable sugarcane ethanol operation in Mozambique. The plant could produce up to 60 million gallons of ethanol per year with little to no carbon footprint, the company claims. Most of this fuel will be shipped to Europe and the U.S. to meet growing demand.
The price of the Dombe Project has yet to be released, but PEL says Craton’s contribution will go a long way toward building an ethanol production facility and planting up to 45,000 acres of sugarcane. Other costs associated with the enterprise include housing, health clinics and schools for nearby residents, about 2,000 of whom will work for PEL. So even though most of the fuel will be diverted elsewhere, the company says the effort is designed to jumpstart the local economy and encourage sustainable development.
That being said, some critics have been outspoken about the deforestation and property rights violations that have accompanied the ethanol industry’s growth in Africa. For more on these objections, take a look at one opinionated blogger’s perspective here, and a report on ethanol production in Mozambique in the recent issue of Mother Jones magazine.
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, PEL previously received capital from Principle Capital Holdings.