/ 14 February 2013

Zim forces use of ethanol-blended petrol

The transport strike has left many petrol garages running dry already.

"We will make sure it's done," Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma said on Thursday. "We are going towards a green economy and we are talking of biofuel.

This is to save the country and the planet, while at the same time we are creating our own industry." No operator will be allowed to sell unleaded petrol unless it has been blended with a minimum of 5%t locally-produced ethanol, said the government notice.

Ethanol is usually produced from sugar cane in Zimbabwe. A few companies have already been selling blended fuel but it attracts few buyers because of concerns over its quality.

Mangoma said the move was also expected to reduce the consumption of imported petrol and save scarce money for critical government projects. Economic analysts say Zimbabwe requires $45-million a month to import fuel. – AFP