The Government will next year start constructing ethanol plants in provincial centres for blending fuel, as a measure to reduce the cost of petroleum in the country.
Minister of Energy Peter Kapala said this today in Kasenengwa District when he paid a courtesy call on Chief Saili and Senior Induna Kapichila ahead of commissioning the 7 million litre capacity Fuel Depot.
The Minister told the traditional rulers that the Ministry of Energy has plans to start producing cheaper blended fuel using ethanol.
Eng. Kapala stated that the blended fuel will use ethanol from cassava, although the wish was to use maize but that is not an option because it could threaten the national food security.
He said the blending of fuel is a strategy to reduce the fuel cost in the economy, which will reduce the cost of doing business and also facilitate the creation of more jobs for the youths.
Speaking earlier, Chief Saili, who represented Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people, said it is hoped that more capital projects will be established in the province to create jobs for young people.
The traditional ruler appealed to the Minister of Energy to ensure that the US$40 million depot that was being commissioned today will create jobs for local people and not those from outside.
The chief also thanked Government for establishing the fuel depots and hoped that the infrastructure which will act as a strategic fuel storage facility will lead to the reduction of fuel in the province.
The Minister of Energy, Peter Kapala, will later this afternoon commission the US$40 million Chipata fuel depot which is located in the Kasenengwa District.