Energy Considerations for Mauritius

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Mauritius is heavily depended upon fossil fuels for power generation, transport and industry. The economic prosperity of the last 20 years was only possible due to large concomitant increases in fossil fuels consumption. Based upon past trends, any increases in economic prosperity will inevitably be dependent upon further increases in fossil fuel consumption.

For 2000, the Total Primary Energy Requirement was 1,125,929 tonnes of oil equivalent and that rose to 1,191,532 in 2001 resulting in a substantial increase of 5.8 %. Over the last ten years, from 1992 to 2001, the Total Primary Energy Requirement rose from 811 kilo-tonnes (ktoe) of oil equivalent to 1191 ktoe, an increase of 46%. Over the same period, GDP increased from Rs 37,468 million to Rs 60,716 million in 1990 Rupees, an increase in real terms of 62%. The local content of this energy requirement fell from 307.39 ktoe to 290.36 ktoe from 1992 to 2001. In percentage terms the local content of Total Energy Requirements fell from 37% to 24%. In short Mauritius is an energy poor country heavily dependent upon fossil fuel imports.


The following table shows the breakdown in the energy commodity balance


Source in tonnes of oil equivalent












Aviation Fuel






Fuel Oil






Fuel Wood












Source: Central Statistical Office


Local sources of Total Primary Energy Requirements are hydro-electric power, bagasse and fuel wood which are largely renewable energies. Note that bagasse is the residue left after the sugar cane has been crushed and its syrup extracted. It is a by-product of sugar cane. It is burned for the generation of electric power.

Although bagasse burning is classified as a renewable energy source, it is only partly so. The cultivation of sugar cane (the source of bagasse) requires large amounts of fossil fuels such as in the manufacture of fertilisers, transport of workers to and from the fields, transport of sugar canes to factories, transport of the final product to markets abroad and locally. It is not known for each KWh of electric power generated from bagasse the percentage that comes directly or indirectly from fossil fuels. Most probably this percentage varies between 10% and 20%.

It is a given fact that all fossil fuels are non-renewable and finite. Although there are large stocks of coal worldwide, it is becoming clearer that the supply of oil and gas cannot increase forever to satisfy and ever increasing demand, whether it is from the rich northern countries or from the so-called Asian tigers, including China. From the work of Campbell (2000), Laherrere (2001,2002), Deffreyes (2000), it is becoming apparent that a peak in oil extraction will be reached at some time into the future, estimates vary but most studies place the peak between 2005 and 2015. Following a short plateau, yearly extraction should decline by 3 to 5 % till extinction of the oil industry into the far future. Gas production is expected to increase till 2020 or 2030 and thereafter decline too. Given that economic prosperity is closely dependent upon the availability of abundant fossil fuels, the consequences of a peak in oil extraction within the next few decades will be far-reaching and will change forever the nature of civilisation on Earth. It will be the paramount event of the twenty-first century.



The following web sites have very good papers and documentation on this issue.,,,

Oil Prices Barrel from - text can be linked to

Bunker Fuel from - text can be linked to

Natural Gas Price from - text can be linked to





(1) Albert A. Bartlett, An Analysis of U.S. and World Oil Production Patterns Using Hubbert-Style Curves, Department of Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder, 80309-0390, Mathematical Geology, Vol. 32, No 1, 2000, (

(2) Colin J. Campbell, Forecasting Global Oil Supply 2000-2050, Hubbert Center Newsletter #2002/3, Colorado School of Mines,

(3) A.M. Samsam Bakhtiari, A Realistic View of Long Term Middle East Production Capacity, Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO), Second International Workshop on Oil Depletion, (Rueil, France, May 2003)

(4) R.W. Bentley, Global Oil and Gas Depletion: An Overview, Energy Policy 30 (2002) P 189-205, Elsevier Science Ltd

(5) C.J. Campbell, The World's Endowment of Conventional Oil and its Depletion, January 1996,

(6) Jean Laherrère, Future of Oil Supplies, Seminar Center of Energy Conversion, Zurich, May 2003

(7) C.J. Campbell, Peak Oil, December 2000, Presentation at the Technical University of Clausthal, Germany,

(8) Jean Laherrère, Quels sont les problèmes quand on parle de réserves? Conférence AFTP 31, mars 1999,

(9) Richard C. Duncan, Walter Youngquist, The World Petroleum Life-Cycle, Petroleum Technology Transfer Council Workshop, October 1998, University of Southern California,

(10) Youngquist Walter, GeoDestinies, The Inevitable Control of Earth Resources over Nations and Individuals: National Book Company, 1997, Portland, Oregon.

(11) Jean Laherrère, The Hubbert Curve: its Strengths and Weaknesses, February 2000,

(12) Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage, Princeton University Press, 2001,


Date on the web: 4th of November 2003

Last update: 5th of April 2012