Zera in petrol blending U-turn
Harare, (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) on Friday made a dramatic U-turn on its earlier decision to reduce petrol blending levels to E10 from E20.
Zera said it had rescinded the directive announced on Thursday after further consultations with stakeholders.
“Further to the earlier communication reducing blending levels from 20 percent to 10 percent, consultations were held with government and ethanol suppliers indicating that the 20 percent blending levels can be sustained,” the regulator said.
“Kindly disregard the earlier circular and continue to blend at 20 percent.”
There are two major producers of ethanol in the country, and 11 licensed
Changes in blending levels have been a common feature depending on the availability of ethanol since the system was introduced in 2008.
The government introduced fuel blending with the twin aim of cutting the import bill, and averting shortages.
But motorists still complain that petrol blended at higher level is costly for them as more is required to cover a particular distance, compared to unblended petrol.
There have also been perceptions that blending levels are not uniform and at times go above stipulated ratios, but Zera has insisted that compliance among blenders was 100 percent.
Despite the introduction of blending fuel remains a scarce commodity to due to foreign currency shortages to import the commodity.
Long queues at servive stations remain a major feature across the country.