The National Oil Infrastructure Company (NOIC) of Zimbabwe has reportedly announced to have set a target of completing the construction of two ethanol storage tanks by the end of 2018. The storage facility with 6 million-liters capacity would be constructed at NOIC’s Mabvuku Depot located in Harare, cite sources.
Reportedly, the fuel storage facility will cost a total of $6 million to construct. The announcement comes in the backdrop of the government’s decision to press ahead with ethanol blending to reduce petroleum import costs.
According to a report by the Chronicle, the NOIC has been allowed to construct and maintain petroleum facilities by the Zimbabwe government as the company is in the business of transporting, storing and handling petroleum products.
For the record, the mandatory ethanol blending ratio of unleaded petrol has been raised by the government from 15% to 20% in June with immediate effect after the supply of ethanol significantly improved from Green Fuel. However, the blending ratio was reduced during monsoon as Green Fuel – the nation’s sole blending ethanol supplier – was unable to supply enough sugar canes due to water logging in a few of its fields.
Increasing the ethanol blending ratio has become crucial for the nation given that the demand for petrol – which is imported – is soaring and the foreign currency needed for the import is scarce.
The Secretary for Energy and Power Development in Zimbabwe, Partson Mbiriri stated that the construction of the two 6 million-liter Mabvuku Depot ethanol storage facilities is just one of the several projects the NOIC is undertaking.
For the uninitiated, NOIC has also been moving ahead with the construction of a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) depot of 2,000 tons capacity in Ruwa. Additionally, the company is also developing a $9.3 million A1 jet fuel handling and storage facility at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare.