Chisumbanje Ethanol Project On Verge Of Collapse?

We have been paying close attention to the goings on at the Ethanol Project in Chisumbanje.

At one point this project seemed to be the answer to Zimbabwe’s fuel woes, and was expected to provide 70 percent of Zimbabwe’s fuel needs. It now appears the project is faced with a plethora of challenges.

Some car owners in Zimbabwe are disgruntled by the current price of ethanol while others complaining that it causes engine damage.

In trying to maintain the project a ministerial task force was set up that looked at issues arising from agriculture and the displacement of the people. It will also tackle the issue of marketing of ethanol, mainly the question of blending percentages of the fuel.

In a parliamentary question and answer session on 28 March, Deputy Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirayi said-

“I want to say that it is not a dead project. The committee which has been set up needs to be thorough in some of the constraints that we are facing”

However some reports claim that the ethanol plant is now redundant, after the company closed production and laid off at least 230 workers, leaving millions of litres of ethanol lying idle in Chiredzi.

The high level of uncertainty surrounding the ethanol project has left us wondering if the whole venture is set to fail.