March 11, 2019 [The Herald] - The National Oil and Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe (Noic) has made significant progress on the completion of several fuel storage depots across the country, as the State-owned enterprise moves to increase the country's storage capacity of petroleum products.
This was said by acting chief executive officer Wilfred Matukeni in an interview with The Herald Business.
Mr Matukeni said Noic has done about 70 percent of civil works on the 2 000 tonnes liquefied petroleum gas handling depot project in Ruwa, while 90 percent work has also been completed on the construction of two ethanol storage tanks with capacity to store 6 million litres at the Mabvuku depot.
“In terms of the 2 000 tonnes liquefied petroleum gas handling depot in Ruwa, the civil works are almost 70 percent complete. What remains is the tank fabrication and the accessories for the tanks and for that one we are still awaiting the availability of foreign currency. We will need around $66 million to complete it,” said Mr Matukeni.
“For the Mabvuku depot all in all now we need about $1,5 million to complete it, all the civil works have been completed. The tank fabrication is nearing completion and should be about 90 percent complete.
“What is remaining is the mechanical and the electrical engineering and if all goes well, we will get all the foreign currency in the next six months and we should have done the testing.“
The development comes at a time when Government is pressing ahead with ethanol blending to cut the cost of petroleum imports amid foreign currency shortages.
In June last year, Government increased the mandatory blending ratio of unleaded petrol from 15 percent ethanol to 20 percent with immediate effect following significant improvements in the supply of ethanol from Green Fuel.
Increasing ethanol blending thresholds has increasingly become important for Zimbabwe given growing demand for petrol, which is imported, at a time foreign currency needed for the imports is in short supply.
Zimbabwe’s fuel consumption rate increased by 24 percent to 752 million litres in the first six months of 2018.
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