The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Cde Joram Gumbo has allayed fears of a fuel price hike, dismissing claims of an increase on the pump price of petrol and diesel as false.
This follows the government pronouncement on Thursday that the mandatory ethanol blending for unleaded petrol has been increased to 10 percent from 5 percent with effect from April 25.
The government had lowered the ratio to 5 percent from 15 percent as a result of reduced capacity at Chisumbanje-based Green Fuel, and Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) CEO, Eddington Mazambani said improved ethanol output by Green Fuel has led to the latest review.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Engineer Gloria Magombo said the move will not result in an increase in fuel prices contrary to false reports being peddled by social media.
Engineer Magombo said the upward revision of the blending ratio is aimed solely at reducing the country’s trade deficit.
“The move is basically aimed at reducing the import bill of fuel since the country spends on average US$20 million on fuel imports. Contrary to false social media reports that the price of fuel will go up, the government has not increased the price of fuel but only that this blending will cause a slight and insignificant adjustment of prices,” she said.
Despite earning over US$6 billion in foreign currency annually, Zimbabwe suffers from a high trade deficit which has prompted the government to devise ways of substituting unnecessary imports and ethanol blending is one such initiative.