Monday, June 17, 2024

Sunbird Bioenergy Zambia in Kawambwa is set to start Ethanol processing in August


Sunbird Bioenergy Zambia in Kawambwa district in Luapula Province has disclosed that the company is scheduled to have its first-ever ethanol produced from cassava feedstock, blended with petrol, in August this year.

Sunbird Bioenergy Energy Zambia Agriculture Director Mark Muchinga says the company will have its first ethanol blend, done by Indeni Petroleum Refinery in Ndola, as a trial.

Mr Muchinga told Luapula Province Minister Derrick Chilundika, during a tour of the company fields that the ethanol that will be blended into petrol is expected to reduce the country’s fuel imports by 10 per cent.

“The ethanol that will be produced here will help reduce the cost of fuel by about 10 per cent and the company once operational is assured of constant production.

So far we have done a nursery of up to 1,200 hectares, the nursery is the one where we get the planting materials that we give to our out-growers and we have already registered over 5000 out-growers, with most of them harvesting their crop in the next few weeks,” he said.

Mr. Muchinga revealed that the company is committed to ensuring that the trial for the blending of ethanol is done, adding that the company has already had a meeting with the Ministry of Energy, where both parties have agreed that Indeni Petroleum Refinery will be the off-taker of the trial to blend the ethanol with petroleum.

“As you can see now we are harvesting. We are harvesting not because we are supposed to be harvesting no, but we are harvesting because the Minister came and told us that he needs the ethanol which we are supposed to produce by August, as they will be carrying out a trial on how the blending is going to work,” he explained.

Mr. Muchinga added that blending the ethanol with petroleum also needs the consumer to agree or disagree on whether to use the product.

And Luapula Province Minister Derrick Chilundika said the provincial administration is excited about the economic benefit that Sunbird Bioenergy is making in Kawambwa and Luapula province.

“As Provincial Administration we are very excited because it will not only be the first ethanol that will be produced as a Kawambwa product, but also the economic benefit it bring to the region, so in this regard, we wish to encourage the company management and the investors themselves to invest more, we are there for them,” he said.

Mr. Chilundika added that government is user friendly to investors, adding that the authority is aware of the positive strides made to grow the economy of the country.

Mr. Chilundika further urged the company, to employ local people as they are incrementing in order to empower them.

“We have made it very clear as a government that priority should be given to the locals in terms of jobs and any other thing that might come including supplies, we believe this is one way of empowering the locals,” he emphasised.

Mr. Chilundika further encouraged the company to ensure that they provide protective gear to the employees that have been employed to work in the fields.


  1. Excellent development this. The UPND government should encourage the project, and president Hichilema should visit the company and hilight it!

  2. This goes in-line with the article on: April 29, 2022, “Legalize Kachasu” By Dickson Jere.
    I commented on this article, on how to make BIOFUEL, but as usual, LT moderated my comment to this day, it has never been released. Can you imagine, a topic without politics!!!
    ANYWAY, my point now here is that, this is MOST welcome development. A refer to Dickson Jere article because he is planning the same.
    Besides the economical benefit of reducing fuel cost by 10%, you have another HEALTHY benefit of reducing KACHASU consumption. These small brewers should be encouraged, BUT instead of them selling it to ADDICTS, they can sell it to Sunbird Bioenergy Zambia. The BEST way to fight kachasu drinking!!

  3. Way to go !! Zimbabwe has been doing this for decades….that is why their fuel has a distinctly different smell to what we use here…
    indeed,The New Dawn Government must step up to the plate and give all the encouragement to this business….

  4. Hope it won’t affect car engines and performance as modern cars come with sophisticated sensors which might not work properly with ethanol.

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