“I can confirm that as we speak we have at least 1.7 million litres of processed ethanol which is ready for use once the plant is commissioned,” Human Resources Officer of Macdom Private limited Company, Alex Zvichauya said in a statement.
“So far we are testing all the sections after having recruited all the human resources wanted for the fuel production to get to full throttle and we are satisfied with the running of the all the plant machines. What is left is the commissioning of the plant which is likely to happen in the next two to three weeks.”
According to Zvichauya, the US$600 million agro-industrial and renewable energy complex, if commissioned is expected to produce 120 000 litres of ethanol daily a development that could potentially revolutionise the local fuel market by addressing the twin-challenges of cost and security of supply.
As a net importer, Zimbabwe is vulnerable to the vicissitudes of the global oil market where crude oil prices have risen 75 percent and supply concerns continue on the back of political instability in the Middle East.
Management at Green Fuel – a joint venture between the state-run ARDA and private investors — say when fully operational, the project will produce enough ethanol to significantly cut-down Zimbabwe’s fuel import bill and help end shortages the country experiences all too frequently.
Already, US$200 million has been invested in the project, rising to US$270 million by December 2011 when 11500 hectares of land will be under sugarcane, producing some 40 million litres of ethanol.
The multimillion dollar Ethanol production plant which is nearing competition is however being threatened with destruction by disgruntled villagers who plan to invade the 40 000 hectare sugar cane irrigation plantation to grow cotton.
This is as a result of a long standing land dispute between Macdom Private Company in charge of the plant and the local community.