The consortium of Mozambican and Portuguese companies that has purchased the assets of Riopele, a textile company in Marracuene, 30 kilometres north of Maputo, which has been paralysed for the past 20 years, intends to spend 40 million dollars in the next three years to revive textile production.
The partners in this venture are the Mozambican company, Intelec Holdings, and three Portuguese textile firms, Mundotextil, Mundifios and Crispim Abreu.
Together they have formed a company named Mozambique Cotton Manufacturers (MCM).
Speaking at the presentation of the project in Maputo last autumn, Intelec chairperson Salimo Abdulah, said that four million dollars will be invested in the Riopele buildings, and nine million dollars in 2013 in spinning and weaving equipment.
The cotton thread and terry produced will mostly be exported taking advantage of Mozambique’s preferential trade agreements with the United States (under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA), the European Union and the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region.
The following phase, in 2014, will involve a further 27 million dollars of investment in weaving machinery, a dyeing and finishing unit, and a waste water treatment station. All the investment will come from the MCM partners’ own capital. Abdula said that MCM will employ 187 people in the first phase, rising to 700 by 2014.
He envisaged MCM as the anchor project for an industrial park in Marracuene, which would rent out premises to up to 150 small and medium companies, generating 7,500 indirect jobs. Abdula claimed that MCM would also encourage cotton production in southern Mozambique. The three Portuguese partners in MCM already own a cotton ginning mill in Gaza province, acquired in 2006. MCM forecast that 10,000 peasant households in Gaza will grow cotton under the project, and a further 5,000 in the neighbouring province of Inhambane.
Abdula’s vision is that MCM will be an integrated business, doing everything from cotton ginning to the production of textiles and clothing.