Zim to save US$100m from E20

via Zim to save US$100m from E20 | The Financial Gazette 21 Nov 2013

Zimbabwe will further reduce its import bill and save close to US$100 million annually once mandatory E20 blending has been adopted.

Energy Minister, Dzikamai Mavhaire told the Financial Gazette recently that government was working towards enforcing 20 percent blending of the country’s imported petrol by April next year.Recently, it adopted E10 blending, which is 10 percent of anhydrous ethanol blended with unleaded petrol.

Government has since amended the country’s energy laws to give effect to mandatory blending.

As a build up towards E20, government will first increase the blending threshold to E15 towards the end of year.

The country will double its annual savings from fuel imports from the current US$48 million to about US$100 million once E20 has been adopted.

“At the current E10, the country is saving US$4 million per month from the fuel import bill at. If the figure is multiplied by 12 months it means that the country is saving US$48 million annually. So as we move to E20, the country will be saving US$8 million per month, a figure that will translate to US$96 million per year when we have reached E20 by next year,” he said.

“We are of the understanding that while the state is saving huge sums of money, we should also ask what is the ordinary motorist benefiting from ethanol blending?” said Mavhaire.

Authorities have also hinted that the adoption of E20 might push petrol prices downwards.

Ethanol is being produced solely by the Chisumbanje plant owned by Green Fuel — a joint venture formed in 2008 between the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority, Macdom and Ratings Investments owned by business tycoon Billy Rautenbach.

The ethanol plant, which currently produces 220 000 litres of ethanol per day and five megawatts (mw) of electricity, has a capacity of producing 700 000 litres of ethanol and 18 mw of electricity to be fed into the national grid, once fully operational.