Captains in the ethanol industry are accusing government of dilly dallying to fix the fuel’s pricing model as countdown to petrol replacement in Malawi starts in earnest.
Ethanol company’s official Luswiro Chakaniza says the proposal for the pricing model was sent to government a year ago but the government is yet to approve it as ethanol powered vehicles patiently wait in garages.
She said it is expected that the price of ethanol will be 86 per cent to that of the current petrol price, saving the country up to K40 billion in forex used to import petrol yearly.
Chakaniza says currently the company produces a capacity of 18 million litres per year but will likely go up should the government approve its take off.
Prescane Limited chief executive office Abel Chanje said if the government is not comfortable with the proposed pricing model then it can offer its own pricing model instead of stalling the whole process.
Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe referred the matter to Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) when contacted for comment but Mera officials sent back the issue to ministry of Finance, saying they were the right authority on this matter.
Fuel dealers, Puma official David Lanjesi said his company is ready for the new era of ethanol.
“We have equipment for that, we are ready,” said Lanjesi.
Motorists will have to part away with US$100 for conventional kits which will change vehicles from petrol powered to ethanol powered. Malawi imports 200 million litres of petrol every year.