ZIMBABWE Zimbabwe’s energy sector regulator says it is ready to licence new ethanol producers to avoid dependency on a single supplier, Green Fuel.

Under the country’s mandatory blending policy, only GF is licensed or accredited to trade the commodity for petrol blending purposes.

Gloria Magombo, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority chief executive, told Business Live that they are “prepared to license other prospective producers provided they meet the conditions”.

“It is always good to have more suppliers in the country to remove dependency on single supply of ethanol. As such the door is open to other investors to do so,” she said.

Zimbabwe requires about 80 million litres of ethanol annually.

Magombo said the current law requires that an ethanol producer for mandatory blending has to be in partnership with the State and “at the moment Green Fuel is the only company in joint venture with government”.

However, the Chisumbanje-based company has allegedly encountered ethanol supply challenges, compelling government to engage Triangle Limited — a subsidiary of South Africa-based Tongaat Hulett — to augment supplies.

Early this year, government had to engage Triangle after GF had failed to meet ethanol demand due to incessant rains.

With an installed capacity of 40 million litres of ethanol annually, Triangle has only been able to do or churn out 24 million litres due to low market demand.

The company’s domestic market is made up of alcohol and beverages manufacturers, and paint producers.

October 2, 2014; http://www.dailynews.co.zw/articles/2014/10/04/zim-to-licence-more-ethanol-producers