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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bio-Fuel Production in Zambia

Zambia is to start bio-fuel production by December 2006, Zambia’s energy minister Felix Mutati announced at the end of May 2006. He was visiting Zambia’s largest cane sugar plantation (Nakambala) and factory owned by Illovo near Mazabuka. The plantation is located on the Kafue River Flats.

Zambia Sugar Plc (ZS) managing director Paul de Robillard said company had the capacity to produce between 12 million litres and 13 million litres of ethanol at their present sugar production. ZS produces 50,000 metric tonnes of molasses and intends to increase this to 100,000 metric tonnes by 2010.

This would double its ethanol production to at least 22 million litres. Currently all molasses ZS produces goes into the domestic livestock sector and a few tonnes are exported within the region.

Mutati said that the government was reviewing the National Energy Policy and the energy legal framework to guide production of bio-fuel. Ethanol can be blended with petrol and the current 13 million litres of ethanol would represent 15 percent Zambia’s petrol consumption.

Zambia’s climate is suitable for cane production. That’s why two new plantations have been established and both produce sugar. One is on the other side of the Kafue, Zambia's second largest river and the other is in the Northern Province.


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