Zim benefits from going green
Zimbabwe has started reaping the benefits of ozone-friendly biofuels with petroleum prices marginally slumping in some parts of the country in recent weeks.
This comes after sugarcane grower Green Fuel pumped out over five million litres of ethanol for blending with petrol.
Green Fuel produces ethanol at its plant in Chisumbanje in eastern Zimbabwe.
Its ethanol has been dispatched to selected fuel distributors in the capital Harare.
The price of petrol fell from around US$1.44 per litre to less than US$1.40 at filling stations that got the ethanol.
Green Fuel has set its sights on producing between 25 and 40 million litres of ethanol before the end of 2011.
A Green Fuel spokesperson said: “We are engaging other fuel distributors with view to supplying them with ethanol so that they can start selling blend petrol, which is on very high demand.”
According to company officials, Green Fuel hopes to produce 1.5 billion litres of ethanol per annum for the local market.
They believe they can reach this target within the next five to eight years as Green Fuel consolidates its operations in Chisumbanje.
Blended fuel is a favourite for environmentalists because of its low carbon emissions.
Carbon emissions into the atmosphere deplete the ozone layer and increase the likelihood of global warming.
The blended fuel is made of 90 percent petrol and 10 percent ethanol.
Before Green Fuel started operations in Zimbabwe, the country relied on ethanol from the massive Triangle Sugar Estate in the southeastern part of the country.
However, production there stopped after a debilitating drought in the early 1990s and was abandoned for good.