By John Nhandara
THE ethanol storage facility being constructed in Mabvuku is nearing completion as government walks the talk on its commitment to revamp the country’s petroleum infrastructure.
The US$9,3 million project is being undertaken through the National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe (NOIC).
The two tanks with a storage capacity of 6 000 000 litres will improve the storage of ethanol and sustain higher petrol blending thresholds.
This emerged when the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes, Honourable Joram Gumbo and his Energy and Power Development counterpart, Honourable Soda Zhemu visited the Mabvuku ethanol storage facility to assess progress made so far.
“We are happy with progress. We have been told that it is now at 96 percent complete and will enable storage of ethanol. Remember government reviewed the mandatory blending ratio to the current E20 as part of measures to lower domestic prices of petrol,” said Gumbo.
Harare Metropolitan Province Permanent Secretary, Mr Tafadzwa Muguti who was part of the delegation weighed in saying the project, will reduce the country’s import bill and provide affordable blended petroleum.
“This is an example of infrastructure development as a precursor to investment. It will ensure the country has enough stock of ethanol to cater for its blending needs,” he said.
Honourable Zhemu gave an insight of other projects being undertaken by NOIC, such as the construction of liquefied petroleum gas storage and handling facility in Ruwa.
“The LPG storage and handling facility has a holding capacity of 2000 metric tonnes of LPG. Phase one of the project will be complete in March 2023,” said Zhemu.
Other NOIC projects underway include upgrade of the Feruka Harare pipeline which is expected to increase fuel handling capacity from the current 2,19 billion litres per annum to at least three billion litres a year.
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