via Bio fuel policy to be launched this year – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 29, 2015 by Victoria Mtomba
GOVERNMENT is set to complete the bio-fuel policy soon to be launched by the end of the year which stipulates the blending of diesel with biodiesel by 2020.
Speaking at the official opening of the National Energy Efficiency Audit, Ministry of Energy and Power Development director for policy and planning Benson Munyaradzi said there were opportunities in bio fuels such as the reduction of the import bill, creation of employment for rural people and a complete new industry.
“If government adopts the policy as we are recommending, we will have blending of diesel with biodiesel at 2% by 2020 and it means there will be a ready market for farmers just like for Green Fuel there is a ready market. The farmers can produce their jatropha and can sell to the oil companies,” Munyaradzi said.
Munyaradzi said the policy will be complete by next month.
“We have so far had five consultative workshops. The final consultation was held so we are now evaluating the comments from the stakeholders and incorporating that into our policy and I think the drafts will be circulated to stakeholders for final input and will believe by August we will be through. If Cabinet approves, that will be the policy,” Munyaradzi said.
The proposed diesel blending comes after government’s plans to raise the mandatory blending of petrol to 20% would not be reached this year as ethanol producers do not have the capacity to supply the market. Mandatory blending is at E15 (15% ethanol and 85% petrol).
Munyaradzi said there were challenges and the E20 won’t be achieved this year.
“I would say that when we introduced mandatory blending we thought we had enough feed stocks this year, it should be E20, we might need more to be able to reach E20,” he said.
Munyaradzi said the ministry wants other players to get into ethanol production and there are looking at such. Meanwhile, the findings of the National Energy Efficiency Audit that has been running from February 2014 to date were released yesterday.
The audit covered key economic sectors that include mining, commercial buildings, domestic and transport respectively.
Munyaradzi said energy efficiency has the potential to create a virtual power supply capacity in Zimbabwe.
“This virtual capacity could be obtained at a much lower capital investment of about $200 per kilowatt as compared to new build projects which cost $2 000 to $3 000 per kilowatt. Furthermore, the gestation period for new build projects is typically three to four years and this makes it imperative for the country to deploy other intervention measures like energy efficiency and demand side which have a shorter implementation period, ” he said.