Petrol blending increased to 20pc

HARARE – Government has increased petrol blending from 10 to 20 percent due to increasing supplies of ethanol.

In March, government reduced to five percent from 15 percent the mandatory amount of local ethanol to be blended with petrol as heavy rains affected sugarcane fields.

“It is hereby notified that, in terms of section 4 (I) of the petroleum regulations,2013, published in Statutory Instrument 17 of 2013, as amended by Statutory Instrument 18 of 2014, the minister approves the current level of mandatory blending to 20 per centum,” Energy minister Samuel Undenge said yesterday in a government gazette.

“The consequence of this approval is that all licensed operators shall, from the date of publication be mandated to sell unleaded petrol blended at E20.”

Zimbabwe obtains ethanol from a $600 million sugar plant in the southeast of the country which is jointly owned by a State company and private investors which has capacity to produce 250 000 litres of ethanol a day.

This year’s heavy rains forced government to reduce the blending figures to five percent, a period which also coincided with the annual suspension of full-scale cane harvesting.

Between December and April, sugar cane harvesting is halted to enable plant maintenance, leading to a moratorium in the production of ethanol.

The off-crop season is now over, and sugar milling has resumed, resulting in a boost in ethanol supplies.

Official figures show Zimbabwe spends some $45 million each month to import fuel.

The introduction of petrol blending has been a subject of fierce opposition from motorists with a suit being filed at the Constitutional Court to reverse the mandatory blending.

Zimbabwe’s fuel prices have remained very high compared to other countries in the sub-region despite government’s unilateral decision to enforce mandatory blending of petroleum products almost four years ago, claiming it would bring down prices and reduce the country’s import bill.

Comments (1)

Irrigated land should be used to grow food not fuel substitute!

citizen - 18 September 2017

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