GREEN Fuel, a joint venture between ARDA and Macdom and Rating Investments is looking at expanding its sugarcane fields to increase ethanol production, an official said.The company’s sugarcane plantations are on 11 000 hectares and Green Fuel is looking at expanding the hectarage to 30 000, ARDA chairman Mr Basil Nyabadza said.
“We are in the market looking for money to finance the development of additional hectarage of cane plantations,” said Mr Nyabadza without disclosing how much the company intends to raise.
“We are targeting to raise ethanol blending levels to E60 in the next four years.”
Apart from the development of the additional fields, the company is also looking to raise $300 million to construct a dam to support its expansion programme. Currently, Osborne and Lesape Dams are feeding into the plantations. The proposed Kondo Dam is located on the Save River approximately 3,6 km south of the Save River and Tsungwizi River confluence.
The project involves the construction of a concrete faced rockfill dam, an earth-fill saddle dam and hydro-power generating plant.
Upon completion, Kondo Dam will store 3,5 billion cubic metres of water for power generation and irrigation development in the Chisumbanje area, which lies in the south eastern part of the country.
The dam will have potential for generating 200MW have a very high potential for ecotourism, which will benefit the Zimbabwean economy.
Green Fuel expansion programme also involves construction of two additional plants. It started operations in 2012 and its operations were boosted by the introduction of mandatory blending.
Annual world ethanol production for fuel has doubled between 2007 and 2015 — from 13 096 million litres to 25 682 million litres — as countries began recognising the need to find a substitute to diminishing oil reserves. Ethanol is widely used in many countries and particularly in Brazil and the United States. Brazil’s extensive use of ethanol made from sugarcane is seen as the most ambitious and successful initiative developed to date for producing renewable liquid fuel.