ETHANOL producer Greenfuel is negotiating with government to reach the 20 % blending of petrol while hoping to introduce diesel blending by year end.
Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) chairman Basil Nyabadza said ethanol blending was stabilising fuel prices and reducing the country’s fuel import bill.
He was speaking to journalists after the tour of the Chisumbanje ethanol project by Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo and Agriculture minister Joseph Made.
“We are in dialogue with government to get back to E15 and later move to E20. We are ready to propel to E15 and we hope the matter is under consideration by government,” Nyabadza said.
Blending started with 5% ethanol and 95% unleaded petrol on August 15 last year, following the issuance of an ethanol production (mandatory blending) licence to Green Fuel on August 5.
The blending increased to 10% and then 15%.
Government is now pushing for E20 by March 2015.
Following a public outcry over the introduction of E15, Energy and Power Development minister Dzikamai Mavhaire reverted to the 10% mandatory blending.
But Nyabadza yesterday explained that the minister’s decision to revert to 10% was a cautionary move following incessant rains that disrupted farming activities.
He said the country was spending $4 million on fuel every day and the ethanol initiative was set to save a lot of money in import bills.
Nyabadza said Zimbabwe had become a leading light in Africa by introducing renewable sources of energy.
Moyo said the ethanol project was a noble initiative that had been suffering from bad publicity.
“There are more positives than negatives. There are clear positives that we have seen with our own eyes. Most of what we have heard does not square up with what we have experienced,” Moyo said.
Greenfuel owner Billy Rautenbach said studies had showed that blending rations of up to 25 % were not harmful to vehicles.