Chisumbanje (New Ziana) –Ethanol producer, Green Fuel plans to set up a plant to manufacture stock feed from bagasse, the dry pulpy fibrous material that remains after crushing sugarcane stalks to extract their juice.
In an interview with New Ziana, Green Fuel chief chemist Aleck Mupariwa said the company wanted to utilise all the material from the crop that it produced.
“We plan to install a hydrolyser to produce stock feed,” he said.
Mupariwa said the stock feed plant would be installed between December this year and March next year when the ethanol plant is shut down for maintenance.
Green Fuel shuts down the ethanol plant between December and March every year as the muddy soils of the sugarcane fields become inaccessible due to the rains.
The company uses the break period to service its factory equipment, which ordinarily operates non-stop during the year.
Green Fuel uses bagasse as a primary fuel source to power its boilers, which produce electricity for the ethanol factory and, with the expansion in the fields and factory, it is remaining with excess material.
Mupariwa said they would also be installing a plant to recover yeast from the ethanol production process, which would be added to the stock feed.
At the moment, the company was not recovering the yeast, leaving it to mix with the water that it used to irrigate the sugarcane fields.
“Yeast contains proteins, which will enrich the stock feed and make it more edible for the animals,” Mupariwa said.
He said the equipment for the stock feed manufacturing and yeast recovery plant had already been purchased, and was being kept in a warehouse.
The company intended to start a cattle rearing project for its workers and would also use the stock feed to feed the animals.
Meanwhile, Mupariwa said Green Fuel was waiting for the agreement with ZESA Holdings to start supplying electricity to the national grid.
He said the company had an installed capacity to produce 22 Megawatts but was currently producing 9.9 Megawatts, which it was using to power its plant and supplying the surrounding areas.
“What I know is that by the off-crop season we will be exporting electricity to the national grid,” he said, adding the directors of the two companies were still thrashing out the agreement.
This year, Green Fuel will only shut down the ethanol producing factory for annual maintenance, and continue running the power generation plant.
Green Fuel is a joint venture between the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority and Macdom and Ratings Investments owned by business mogul Billy Rautenbach.