EU to support Mauritius in ethanol production with Rs 165 million grant
According to the government of Mauritius, the production of ethanol could allow the country to answer both the energy and economic challenges of the island. (Image: Anguil)
Mauritius is boosting renewable energy sources in line with the vision of Maurice Ile Durable (MID) and has won support from the European Union in the form of a grant of EUR 4 million (equivalent to Rs 164.9 million).
The EU has set aside this sum of money to support the island’s uptake of ethanol for transport but has set a proviso to the effect that the government must come up with a plan to explain how the use of fuel will help in the development of the island’s Green Economy.
According to the government of Mauritius, the production of ethanol could allow the country to answer both the energy and economic challenges of the island.
The European Commission must approve this plan and Mauritius is currently subject to voluntary non-binding blending standards for the production of ethanol.
Furthermore, for the rest of Africa, EU recently announced new rural electrification projects, which will provide access to energy to more than 2 million people in poor areas of the continent.
The EU’s new rural electrification programme includes hydro, wind, solar and biomass projects across nine African countries: Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, and Rwanda.
The projects will address energy challenges in rural areas and form part of the EU’s last Energy Facility Call for Proposals, which focused specifically on improving access to modern, affordable and sustainable energy services for rural poor, by promoting renewable energy solutions as well as on energy efficiency measures building on proven successful actions.
Meanwhile, it is to be noted that the EU has granted EUR 5.1 million, or approximately Rs 210.3 million, to the civil society and local authorities in Mauritius to help the island economy realise its Millennium Development Goals.
Additionally, the EU has allocated EUR 301 million (approximately Rs 12.4 billion) to the Government of Mauritius over the period 2006-2014 in the context of the EU accompanying measures.
Over 50% of this amount is to support sectors other than the sugar cane sector: EUR 94 million (Rs 3.9 billion) of the sum has been assigned towards developing the finance sector.
Overall, Mauritius and the EU share a good relationship, which has deepened over the years as the EU has been closely associated with the development and diversification of the island economy.
Mauritius has benefited a lot from the EU-ACP cooperation and has graduated from a mono-crop economy which used to cultivate only sugar around 30 years ago, to a well-diversified and vibrant economy today with activities spread across tourism, textile, financial services, ICT, sugarcane and seafood hub, among others.