THE Chisumbanje Ethanol Project has finally received the ethanol production licence that will provide the much needed off take in production. Less than a week after the elections in which Zanu-PF reclaimed its coveted ruling party status, Greenfuel and partners who operate the project were issued with the licence by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority.
Arda board chairman Mr Basil Nyabadza said in an interview last week that Zera issued the licence early last week.
Mr Nyabadza said the acquisition of the licence meant that they could now blend to at least 5 percent as an offtake position that is expected to reduce the price of fuel in the long run.
“We are excited that the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority has given us the licence we have been yearning for about 18 months now,” he said.
“This now completes the regulatory requirements to enable smooth production of ethanol and its uptake onto the local market.
“It is regrettable that in the history of this country it had never been a strict requirement to have the licence in order to produce ethanol, especially when it is for the benefit of the nation. Nonetheless, some people in their wisdom or lack of it, decided to frustrate efforts to acquire the licence.
“It was a new development under the Global Political Agreement. After all is said and done, we are happy that the licence is out and we now have a off take position.
“We hope this is just the start of bigger things to come for ethanol production in Chisumbanje.”
The Chisumbanje Ethanol Project restarted production at the plant recently following the intervention of President Mugabe after spirited efforts to derail the project by MDC-T elements had threatened to stop production.
The plant employs about 4 000 workers and projections are that about 8 000 people would get jobs at the plant by the first quarter of next year.
“We are now calling on all those with requisite skills to come back home from the Diaspora and get employed in local industry notably the Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant, said Mr Nyabadza.
“We now have the capability to retain skills at Chisumbanje in line with the Zanu-PF policy.”