Zambia’s President, Edgar Lungu, has launched the construction of a $190 million bio-fuel refinery. He said in Lusaka that the refinery expected to start production in 2016, would cater for 20 per cent of the country’s petroleum requirements.
Lungu said the project, being promoted by a private firm, Sunbird Bioenergy Africa, which has partnered with China New Energy Company, would also have a cassava plantation with expected production of 120 million litres of bioethanol per annum.
He said the project was in line with the government’s decision to diversify its petroleum requirements.
Lungu said to ensure constant and adequate supply of raw materials, government has allocated 20,000 hectares of land on the farm bloc.
He said the land would be used for the development of a nucleus farm and out grower programme to produce more than 600,000 tons of cassava each year for the plant.
The president said the project would enable Zambia to substitute imported fuel with biofuel, and expressed optimism that the developers of the project would do a good job owing to their track record of executing more than 100 similar projects across Asia.
Richard Bennet, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, said his company had identified Zambia as a lucrative destination for foreign direct investment.
He said the firm would also put up a 36 megawatt power station at the site at a cost of 50 million dollars.