Zim to supply ethanol
By JAMES KUNDA -
ZIMBABWE has proposed to supply Zambia with significant quantities of ethanol under a pilot project that is expected to commence soon after the establishment of ethanol collection points in the country.
Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma said the Government has since embarked on a feasibility study to ascertain areas where ethanol collection points could be set up.
This will make it easy for Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to collect and distribute the commodity.
Mr Yaluma said in an interview that should this pilot project yield successful results, the Government would then consider setting up an ethanol plant, possibly through Nakambala Sugar Estate in Mazabuka.
“Zimbabwe has proposed to supply ethanol and we have gone further to look at logistics such as setting up ethanol collection and distribution points, and figuring out the difference in unit pump price per drop of both petrol and ethanol,” he said.
Government is in talks with Green Fuels (PVT) of Zimbabwe which has invested US$600 million in an ethanol plant, from where extracts of the commodity would be exported to Zambia.
Mr Yaluma has said the Government is looking at modalities to regulate the pricing mechanism for the bio-fuel sector to stimulate production in the country.
“We are studying the proposals from stakeholders concerning pricing mechanism for bio-fuels and a decision will be arrived at based on the availability of producers on large-scale basis.
“For instance, the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) is producing but in smaller quantities, and what we are looking for is large-scale production as this process is intended for commercial purposes,” he said.
Recently, the Biofuels Association of Zambia (BAZ) president, Thomson Sinkala appealed to Government to put a pricing mechanism in place to support the production of biofuels in the country.