20 pc petrol-ethanol blending by 2025

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ENERGY minister Fortune Chasi says government is planning to increase petrol-ethanol blending from the current 10 percent to 20 percent by 2025 to cut import expenses.
Zimbabwe has suffered persistent shortages of fuel for more than a year due to foreign currency illiquidity in the official markets.
Speaking at the launch of the Biofuels Policy in Harare on Thursday, the minister said government’s phased approach to implementing its biofuels strategy, which started in 2015, entered the second phase at the beginning of the year.
“The main goal of the current phase is the consolidation of the sector, we aim to increase ethanol blending to 20 percent by 2025,” said Chasi.
“We should have established a network of petrol stations offering E85 across the country and mandated a biodiesel blending target.
“We should also have established tertiary education programmes on biofuel production and achieved conformity with international sustainability standards for biofuels and started exporting by 2025,” he said.
The minister said the Biofuels Policy was guided by the National Energy Policy of 2012, which he said promotes the optimal supply and utilisation of energy in a safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.
“Hence, the Biofuels Policy is also in line with the ministry’s vision, ‘to achieve universal access to sustainable and modern energy in Zimbabwe by 2030’.
“The policy focuses on liquid biofuels in the transport sector during the period leading to year 2030.
“This is in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 7, ‘Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’ and the Sustainable Energy for All initiative objective to ensure universal access to modern energy services by year 2030,” said Chasi.
He said the policy was developed to guide the biofuels sector and to create an enabling environment for viable biofuels projects to be implemented in the country.
“It will assist in bridging a supply gap in the country and thereby increase biofuel production, which in turn results in the security of supply for the nation.
“The import bill will be significantly reduced and there will be employment creation and subsequently, poverty will be reduced.
“The policy promotes investment in the biofuels sector and allows for a level playing field for all players who would want to venture into the biofuels value chain.
“The policy also addresses issues of market inefficiencies by opening up the market for competition and also looks at a decentralised model of implementation for biofuels projects.”
The minister said the vision is anchored on re-engagement with the global community, private sector led growth and development as well as enhanced domestic and foreign investment “as encapsulated by the mantra Zimbabwe is open for business”.
Energy ministry permanent secretary Gloria Magombo said the National Biofuels Policy was developed after a wide range of consultations from stakeholders in the biofuels value chain in the country.
“Stakeholder consultative workshops were held in the Mashonaland region, Matabeleland region and in the Masvingo region,” she said.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has also launched the National Renewable Energy Policy.
“The policy focuses on the energy needs of the country from renewable energy resources.
“It is an initiative aimed at securing the long-term energy needs of the country in a sustainable way,” said Chasi.

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