The government Tuesday announced that it had reduced the price of fuel by 7 US cents per litre after increasing the mandatory blending of fuel with ethanol from E-10 to E-20.
This was announced at a post-Cabinet meeting in Harare by Information and Publicity minister Monica Mutsvangwa who said:
“Cabinet has adopted resumption of petrol blending at E10 from April 25, 2022, which has reduced the pump price of petrol by US$0,04 per litre. The blending will go up to E20 by end of May 2022, which will lead to a higher reduction in the price of petrol by US$0,07 per litre.”
Responding to questions from the media, Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda said blending at E10 had reduced the pump price of petrol by 4 US cents per litre while the move to E20 would further. He said:
This blending is done for a variety of reasons and this is something that we are actually achieving. By using a locally produced product we are averting the dependence on foreign currency to import all the fuel requirements that we have for the country.
“Ethanol is cheaper than unleaded petrol which we are procuring from outside the country.”
Senator Mutsvangwa also said the government has increased efforts to improve the strategic fuel reserve, with US$40 million worth of fuel having been procured in the last six months.
She added that the intention is to maintain at least a 30-day stock cover, which at the current consumption levels translates to 150 million litres.
The minister said the fuel will be released onto the market when necessary to fill supply gaps or to stabilise prices.
It is also planning to establish a fuel price stabilisation fund that will even out rises in pricing.
The government also intends to set up a fuel price stabilisation fund to cushion consumers from sharp increases in fuel prices.
The blending of petrol with ethanol was re-introduced in 2008 after the licensing of Green Fuel’s Chisumbanje ethanol plant to minimise fuel shortages and reduce the huge fuel import bill.
The resumption of petrol blending at E10 from April 25 and a subsequent increase to E20 by the end of May, was part of the immediate strategies being adopted.
The blending of fuel is exclusively conducted by licensed blenders only in compliance with Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority regulations.
Motorists previously complained that blended fuel does not last and also is detrimental to vehicles.
More: The Herald