Friday, June 14, 2024

Zambia to Introduce Blended Fuels, a Step Towards Reducing Fuel Pump Prices

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Minister of Energy Hon. Peter Chibwe Kapala has announced that blended fuels are coming to Zambia soon as another option to reduce fuel pump prices in the country. Speaking about the delay in the availability of blended fuels, Minister Kapala said, “The pricing mechanism for the blended fuels was still being developed by The Energy Regulation Board (ERB). They are now done and details will be availed to the public shortly. This will trigger the actual modelling of fuel blending and the roll-out of blended fuels in Zambia.”

“We have been conducting studies to check and calculate the optimum blending ratios (optimum percentages of ethanol and petrol, for example) for Zambia considering the climate we have and the kind of vehicles we have on our roads. Ivariably, ERB had to develop and approve the technical specifications for blending fuels in Zambia,” he added.

Minister Kapala emphasized the importance of blended fuels for the country’s economic, social and environmental reasons, including energy security. He said, “Ethanol blends increase the fuel pool of the country and reduce unleaded petrol imports into the country thus saving foreign exchange.”

In December 2021, Minister Kapala visited the SURYA Energy Plant in Chibombo District to appreciate the potential and challenges of ethanol production, a key activity in the value-chain of blended fuel production. During his visit, he said, “Blending of fuel will reduce the pump-price of fuel, which will reduce the cost of doing business and also facilitate the creation of more jobs for the youths. With blended fuel, we create employment from cassava and maize growers or farmers, to mill operators to transporters and retailers of blended fuel. Further, The blending of ethanol with petrol is expected to reduce the country’s fuel imports by volume hence reduce on the loss of forex by the economy. We are spending a lot of money importing unleaded petrol into Zambia, and with blended fuels, we can save that money and create jobs at the same time.”

In August 2022, during a courtesy call on Chief Saili, Minister Kapala revealed the New Dawn Government’s plans to set up ethanol plants around the country. He said, “The plan is that the blended fuel will use ethanol from cassava, although our original wish was to use maize. Using maize, however, is now not an option because it could threaten the national food security.”

“Apart from cassava farmers, other farmers and businesses can benefit from the blending of fuels with ethanol. For example, Zambia Sugar has the capacity to provide more than 5% of the energy needs of Zambia through ethanol production from the molasses, which is a by-product of its sugar production. With Indeni starting to blend fuel, it can be an off-taker of this ethanol from Zambia Sugar and that can only mean a win-win for both companies and a boost for our economy,” Minister Kapala added.

Indeni Petroleum Refinery Company Limited, which has since ceased to operate as a refinery and now operates as an Oil Marketing Company (OMC), will start blending locally produced ethanol with petrol. Sunbird Bioenergy Zambia, based in Luapula Province, has also announced its plans to start blending petrol with ethanol. ERB Public Relations Manager Namukolo Kasumpa said, “Once rolled out, the blended fuel would be available to consumers and the general public just like any other petroleum products currently sold by entities licensed by the ERB.”

6 COMMENTS

  1. Changanya doesn’t last long in the tank, so at the end of the day you’re still paying a bunch to run your vehicle. Also, vehicle owners need to have their engines ‘ethanolized’ to ensure a smooth transition.

  2. Only a small minority can afford cars and afford to manage them under this failed upnd govt.

    Good morning zambia. Good morning on this beautiful morning. I am driving to my office with all smiles. I cannot wait to spoil my beautiful wlfe Regina later today for valentines. It will be a 5 star treat for a woman who does alot for my family and I. Last night she made me a very happy man mmmh passion doesn’t end with age. At my age I am still vert active in bed, what is your excuse you impotent upnd cadres

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  3. Well i think our boma is not sure with what they really want to do for the zambians, chaba peleka ku cassava now from the TAZAMA pipeline, leave cassava for the people who are making EGLE larger beer. as much you think it will help in reducing fuel price don’t you think Indeni will need to be fitted with modern equipments to do the work? if yes then its an idea or dream not watha sharing.

  4. Industrial hemp is an excellent feedstock for ethonal production and can be proudly Zambian made. Despiter legislation being passed two years to legalise its production the cultivation is still not permitted.

  5. Modern engines with their various sensors are very sensitive to certain fuels and can cause misfiring or even damage to engines. This issue of blended fuel needs a lot of research first before it’s introduced.

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