Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Bumpy ride for Zimbabwe’s Green Fuel

Bumpy ride for Zimbabwe’s Green Fuel

12 November, 2011 20:12
Business Times

Zimbabwean motorists started filling their vehicles with an ethanol fuel 
blend from Green Fuel’s Chisumbanje ethanol plant this week.

But villagers living near the plant in Chisumbanje want to shut the 
operation down, accusing the owners of taking away their farming land.

Green Fuel spokesman Lilian Muwungani said the new fuel had gone on sale at 
selected filling stations.

“We are proud to announce that today we sold our first litre of blend from 
our ethanol in the capital,” said Muwungani.

“Our blend product, E10, is at FMI service stations nationwide.

“We are very excited to have come from the construction phases of the 
project to actual product merchandising against all odds and warnings from 
prophets of doom.

“Our story represents the triumph of hope over reality,” said Muwungani.

The building of the Chisumbanje ethanol plant faced resistance from pressure 
groups in Chipinge, who claimed that it took away people’s land.

The plant is on a 40000ha site, much of which was unused when construction 

Green Fuel cleared the land and built irrigation canals.

A snap street survey found that motorists were asking about the fuel blend 
at BP and Shell service stations around Harare.

At Bond Service Station, a petrol attendant said 10 motorists had bought the 
fuel. Others could be seen purchasing it at Matlock BP Shell service station 
in Mbare.

The Green Fuel ethanol blend is selling for $1.36 a litre, while the normal 
petrol goes for $1.45 a litre.

The ethanol blend petrol is a mixture of 10% ethanol and 90% ordinary 

Ethanol is clean-burning and its use means less air pollution and a 
greenhouse gas emission reduction of between 60% and 90%, according to the 
International Energy Agency.

Green Fuel is Africa’s first large-scale ethanol factory, making anhydrous 
ethanol from sugar cane.

Sugar-cane ethanol is one of the most successful biofuels to date, offering 
the greatest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an efficient 
production process.

The company said its ethanol blend will help create a green revolution in 
Zimbabwe, driving economic growth and reducing the country’s carbon 
footprint and its fuel bill.

However, the Platform for Youth Development (PYD), a Chisumbanje 
community-based organisation, said the plant has badly disrupted the lives 
of people in the area.

The PYD’s Claris Madhuku said: “There is nothing about development in this.

“It is a pure capital- generation venture disregarding people’s lives and we 
shall continue fighting it.”


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