NOIC to float $6m ethanol storage tender

04 Nov, 2016 - 00:11 0 Views

The Herald

Business Reporter

THE National Oil and Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe says it will soon float the tender for the construction of its 3 million litre-ethanol storage and handling facility in Harare.Chief executive Mr Wilfried Matukeni said the $6 million ethanol facility will be constructed at Mabvuku Depot and will significantly raise its capacity.

The ethanol storage and handling facility is part of three major projects the State-owned oil and infrastructure company is in the process of rolling out.

NOIC will also construct a 2 000 tonnes LPG gas facility at the Mabvuku Depot and a Jet A1 refuelling storage and handling facility at Harare Airport.

Mr Matukeni said plans for the LPG handling and storage project in Ruwa and the Jet A1 facility were work in process, but the process had started for the ethanol facility.

“Tendering processes have commenced for the construction of the ethanol storage and handling facility, with a capacity of 3 million litres at Mabvuku Depot,” he said.

Last year, NOIC completed the installation of the Mabvuku loading gantry at a cost of $12 million, which will significantly decongest its Msasa Depot. The facility is a public private partnership with Sakunda Energy Private Limited.

Chairman Mr Jimias Madzingira said this week that the unbundled company is planning to invest about $20 million over the next one and half years.

The facility comes as Zimbabwe desperately requires sufficient capacity for ethanol storage, which has mandatory blending threshold of 15 percent.

Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority chief executive Engineer Gloria Magombo recently said Government had to stock up ethanol this year to cater for supply deficits, usually caused by rainy season disruption of production.

The ZERA chief executive said that Zimbabwe has over the last three months been producing an average of 6 million litres of blending ethanol.

Government has plans to gradually increase the blending threshold in a development expected to markedly bring down Zimbabwe’s fuel import bill.

Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge has also called for creation of buffer stocks to cover production or plant induced shortages.

Government has in the recent past had to revise its 15 percent mandatory ethanol blending threshold when sole licensed supplier, Greenfuel, encountered supply challenges. The State-owned company started operations as NOIC in March 2011 after it was unbundled from its forerunner, the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, NOCZIM.

The other, Petrotrade, is into fuel trading activities.

Its services include bulk transportation of fuel, from Beira to Msasa through the Feruka pipeline, storage of fuel using its five depots in Zimbabwe, redelivery of fuel into road and rail and blending fuel in Harare and Mutare.

NOIC said pipeline throughput rose 10 percent to 1,53 million litres in 2015.

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