Martin Kadzere Senior Business Reporter
GREEN Fuel, a joint venture between ARDA and Macdom and Rating Investments requires at least $300 million to construct a dam to support its expansion programme.
Currently, the company’s sugarcane plantations in Chisumbanje, Manicaland, are on about 10 000 hectares but there is scope to expand them to 50 000 ha. The expansion is part of company’s medium term plan of becoming a regional ethanol company.
“Any further expansion is hinged on availability of water and that is the main hold back because the level of investment is too high,” ARDA chairman Mr Basil Nyabadza said.
“We have a budget of $300 million to construct Kondo dam and it is very difficult to raise that kind of money under the current environment.”
Osborne dam and Lesape dam are feeding into the plantation and the two water sources cannot sufficiently support the expansion. Mr Nyabadza said the design stage of the dam was completed.
Kondo Dam is located on the Save river approximately 3,6km south of the Save river and Tsungwizi river confluence. The project involves the construction of a concrete faced rockfill dam, an earthfill 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 has potential to generate 200MW and has a high ecotourism potential, which will benefit the Zimbabwean economy.
Green Fuel expansion programme also involves construction of two additional plants with combined capacity of 40 million litres of ethanol per month at a cost of $540 million.
About $400 million will be required develop the farmland measuring 40 000 ha. Green Fuel started operations in 2012 and its operations were boosted by the introduction of mandatory blending.