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ZERA Chief defends ethanol use

By Staff Reporter

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has defended the continued use of ethanol in blending petrol saying the costing of the bio-fuel has remained consistent for the past seven years.

This follows a public outcry that ethanol which is locally produced, is unjustifiably pushing the price of petrol upwards.

Appearing before the Energy and Power Development Portfolio Committee in Harare on Thursday), Acting Chief Executive Officer Eddington Mazambani said ethanol costs have been pegged at USD$1.10 since 2013 when fuel blending became mandatory.

ZERA Chief added that the benefits of ethanol blending will be appreciated when global prices of fuel begin to rise again.

Mazambani, however, conceded that -ZERA needed to get a product costing structure -from the two suppliers of ethanol after legislators pointed out that the bio-fuel is retailing at cheaper rates in other countries which are producing it.

Energy regulator, ERA recently readjusted the cost of petrol and diesel to reflect the new official exchange rate with a litre of diesel now selling at $62,77 cents and petrol at $71,62 cents.