Fuel blending kept at 15 percent

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THE government on Friday announced that it would no longer introduce E20 blending and has gazetted that blending will be maintained at the current levels of E15.
Last year, Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire had announced that government would regularise the mandatory blending of 20 percent anhydrous ethanol with 80 percent unleaded petrol to make E20, by April this year.
As a build up towards E20, the blending threshold was first increased from E5 to E10 and then to E15 towards the end of last year.
However, due to low sugarcane production, government had to revert back to E10 while at the same time extending its source base to Triangle Limited’s Tongaat Hullet, in order to augment sugar supply.
Excessive rains also affected sugar plantations in the Lowveld, resulting in a slump in ethanol production.
In a government notice, Mavhaire said the blending levels of ethanol and unleaded petrol could not be maintained at E20 because of floods in the sugarcane field hindering adequate supply of ethanol for blending in the market.
“The consequence of this approval is that all licenced operators, shall from the date of publication, be mandated to sell unleaded petrol blended at E15,” said Mavhaire.
Green Fuel, the suppliers of ethanol, have in the past said government would not go beyond E20 mandatory blending although adding they could potentially substitute petrol in the country if capacity is raised.
Zimbabwe imports 400 million litres of petrol every month.Advertisement