ETHANOL producing giant, Green Fuel, is now feeding 10MW into the national grid, up from 4MW, The Manica Post Business has learnt.
Green Fuel has an installed capacity to produce 18MW from the dry pulpy fibrous material that comes from crushed sugarcane.
It uses the bagasse as a bio-fuel for the production of electricity.
In an interview, the company’s community relations manager, Mrs Merit Rumema-Sibanda, said Green Fuel will seeks to produce at least 18MW when they reach their target of 40 000 hectares of sugarcane.
Currently, the company has 7 500 hectares under sugarcane.
“In the last two years, the company has expanded its operations by increasing its hectarage from 6 000 to 7 500ha under sugarcane and this has enabled us to increase our national grid exportation of electricity from 4MW to at least 10MW.
“We are playing our part in feeding the national grid. Since last week Thursday, we have been producing 10MW which will help in eliminating load shedding in the country. We are not stopping there as we will be increasing our power generation as we increase our sugarcane hectarage,” she said.
The country relies heavily on water and coal in the production of electricity. The bulk supply is produced at Hwange Thermal Power Station which has a capacity of 920MW, Kariba Dam Hydro-Electric Power Station which has a 750MW capacity, while three small coal-fired power stations in Bulawayo, Harare and Munyati have the capacity of producing 270MW in total.
Zimbabwe has a projected national demand of more than 2200MW and to achieve this, there is need for other fuel production avenues, hence the need for electricity produced from bagasse.
To date, three companies in the country are producing electricity from bagasse.
These include Triangle Limited, which has the capacity to produce 45MW; Hippo Valley Estates (33MW) and Green Fuel.
Mrs Rumema-Sibanda also said Green Fuel has also increased ethanol production from around 350 000 litres to 400 000 litres after the commissioning of a new mill.
During a familiarisation tour of Green Fuel’s Chisumbanje plant last week on Friday, Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Nokhutula Matsikenyeri applauded the fuel giant for the work it is doing.
“The electricity will surely help in curbing load shedding and if this continues, we might not have any electricity shortages in the future,” she said.
She also praised the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts which has seen about 1 400 farmers benefit-ting from the company’s irrigation scheme.