Friday, 14 October 2011 00:00
GOVERNMENT has reintroduced ethanol blended petrol in Zimbabwe, a move aimed at increasing the security of fuel supplies. Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Acting Energy and Power Development Minister Heneri Dzinotyiwei, said the development follows "massive" production of ethanol at Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant by Green Fuels. He said the company has more than two million litres of anhydrous ethanol in stock.
Chisumbanje plant is producing about 200 000 litres of ethanol per day and the production levels are expected to increase to 500 000 litres in 2013. The blending of petrol with ethanol stopped in 1992 due to the unavailability of ethanol as a result of drought.
"Green fuel has commenced production of world class ethanol at their Chisumbanje plant using technology acquired from Brazil and Government has seen it fit to resuscitate petrol blending with ethanol," he said.
"The current and projected levels of production guarantee security and sustainability of the supply of ethanol. This will be available to the motoring public with immediate effect." Minister Dzinotyiwei said the initial blending ratio would be 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent petrol to be reviewed with time. He said to get a quality product and service, producers and distributors of ethanol would adhere to guideline principles agreed by the ministry and industry stakeholders.
"We met oil companies, motor traders association, vehicle manufacturers and ethanol producers as was done prior to 1992.
"The ethanol shall meet international standards and shall be tested on site and certified by the recently formed Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera)," he said.
"Zera shall also carry out quality tests at service stations to ensure that the motoring public is protected from unscrupulous traders.
"The oil industry shall offer to the public all products thus unblended petrol, blended petrol and pure ethanol."
Ethanol price, he said, should be less than the landed cost petrol.
This means the resultant blended petrol will be cheaper than the unblended petrol.
Minister Dzinotyiwei said this would improve the security of fuel supply and Government savings through import substitution.
"There will be employment creation and reduced environmental pollution through the use of cleaner fuel," he said.
Government has been behind the development of bio-fuels and in its Medium-Term Plan production of bio-fuels is one of the policy objectives in the petroleum sector.