Ethanol project catapults Checheche town status

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Checheche growth point in Chipinge is poised to get town status soon following massive development which has seen demand for both residential and commercial properties rising ten- fold over the past year.

Chipinge Rural District Council chief executive officer James Mundoma said this follows the establishment of an ethanol project, set to produce 70% of the country’s fuel requirements within the next six years.

“During the year 2010, council received 254 applications for residential stands and 61 applications for commercial purposes. This brought a total of 315 applications for a full year, that is January to December 2010, while notably for 2011 period January to March a total of 2 412 applications have so far been received for both residential and commercial purposes,” Mundoma said.

The phenomenal growth is largely due to the ethanol project, undertaken by Green Fuel in the Chisumbanje area.

The company itself has applied for 1 100 stands in the high, medium and low-density areas for its employees.

Green Fuel general manager Graeme Smith said:

“We intend to establish more housing structures of a low-density design for our staff. We have a permanent staff complement that runs into more than a thousand skilled and semi-skilled artisans in the mechanical, electrical and civil engineering divisions for both the plant and the agricultural divisions of the investment programme.”

Other big companies who have reportedly applied for land in Checheche include Mutare Bottling company, POSB, ZABG, among others.

The ethanol project being undertaken in conjunction with Arda has seen 40 000 hectares of land being put under sugarcane production, as Zimbabwe undertakes its biggest effort to produce an environmentally friendly fuel.