ethanol.chisumbanje.jpgThe Inter-Ministerial Committee set up to look into the Chisumbanje Ethanol Project has come under the spotlight following revelations that delays in the crafting of a policy to blend all fuel imported is being hampered by alleged political and personal conflicts that have rocked the whole process.


Some sources within the Inter-Ministerial Committee tasked to resolve the Chisumbanje Ethanol Saga have revealed that members of committee have failed to meet the deadline to come up with a clear cut policy over the sudden shut down of the ethanol plant almost over a month now.

The sources said delays have prompted Cabinet to give the committee an ultimatum to present a comprehensive proposal by next week.

While the sources could not deny or confirm whether the issue was discussed in this Tuesday’s Cabinet, information gathered by ZBC News shows that marathon meetings have been held between the Green Fuel officials and government on whether the project operates under the initial Build Operate and Transfer plan or be indigenised.

Under the indigenisation proposal, government will have 51% stake, Green Fuel 31% while the remaining 10% will benefit the Chisumbanje community.

Commenting on the state of affairs at the ethanol plant, ARDA Board Chairman, Mr Basil Nyabadza appealed to the Inter-Ministerial Committee to bury their political differences in the best interests of the country.

The Chisumbanje Ethanol Project was shut down about six weeks ago due to lack of adequate storage facilities to keep over 10 million litres produced so far and resistance by some fuel dealers to have all the imported fuel blended.

Over 4 500 jobs created following the establishment of the plant are now at stake while hopes that the country will save over US$10 million of the fuel import bill might never come into fruition if no solution is found soon.