PressCane acquires ISO, Minister Kambala calls for  diversification into renewable energy

Malawi’s leading ethanol manufacturer, Presscane Ltd has become the first of its kind in the country to acquire unique product standards certification under the International Organization for Standardization(ISO).

Guta receiving a dummy ISO certificate from Willie Muyira of Malawi Bureau of Standards
Minister Kambala making a speech
Dr Christopher Guta

The company has attained ISO 9001:2015 on Quality Management System, ISO 14001:2015 on Environmental Management Systems, and ISO 45001:2018 on Occupational Health & Safety Management System.

The development has impressed Energy Minister Engineer Newton Kambala who has urged Presscane to use its recent ISO certification as a springboard towards diversifying into other forms of clean energy as it aligns its business with government’s job creation drive.

“In Malawi, fuel ethanol, the main product for PressCane Limited is a renewable source of energy and is, therefore, sustainable. My concern, however, is that as a country, we have not worked collaboratively to diversify its use beyond filling the tanks in our petrol driven motor vehicles with it. While I congratulate PressCane Limited for attaining ISO certification, I would like to call upon the company to contribute to the need for diversification of energy sources, an outcome of the National Energy Policy related to the need for sustainable energy supply and services in Malawi,” said Kambala.

The ISO certification, among other advantages, provides the context for product development which the chemical manufacturer has used to launch a line of ethanol-based products in the market including its Alcobase hand sanitizer.

The minister said the role of the private sector plays in driving economies around the globe.

“The private sector is the engine of Malawi’s economy because it is where wealth is created and facilitates country wide economic growth and development. The engine of the economy cannot, however, operate without energy as such stakeholders in that particular sector are critical,” he said.

He then called upon PressCane to work in closely with government to understand the market landscape in other areas for local benefit.

“I invite PressCane Limited to work with my Ministry to understand the developments countries such as in Kenya and identify the mechanisms that we need to put in place in Malawi to implement similar systems in this country. I strongly believe that doing this would be a strategy for contributing to preservation of the environment in Malawi as a response to the climate change challenge,” he said while instructing his ministry officials to initiate the process where Malawi can learn from Kenya with full involvement of the private sector players.

One of the Kenya systems Kambala was talking about include a marketing system which has established Ethanol as a viable option for a clean and easy-to-use cooking fuel.

PressCane Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Christopher Guta, said the certification brings with it renewed energy for more research and innovation to improve customer welfare.

“This certification gives assurance to our customers and all stakeholders that PressCane Limited implements rigorously the processes and procedures defined under the three ISO standards in order to ensure that the quality of our products is unparalleled and meets the highest standards in line with intended uses. As we launch the next phase of taking our products to the market based on our unique business model, we promise to continue upholding our standards in order to provide the required level of product safety and compliance for the benefit of our customers,” said Guta.

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental, international organization that develops standards to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of products, services, and systems. The certification, conferred by the South African Certification and Accreditation Services (SACAS), endorses that management systems, manufacturing processes, services, and documentation procedures meet the requirements for standardization and quality assurance.

Among the Alcobase products launched on the day are Alcobase Dehydrated Alcohol, Alcobase Methylated Spirit, Alcobase Hydrous Ethanol, and Alcobase Hand sanitizer which is available in gel and liquid forms. All these products are also certified and approved by Malawi Bureau of Standards and Pharmacy, Poisons and Medicines Board.

Founded in 2004, PressCane Limited is a manufacturer of ethanol products such as anhydrous ethanol used for blending with petrol and hydrous ethanol used in pharmaceutical, printing and paint industries.

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3 years ago

I wonder that this was not happening 20 plus years ago. ISO 9001 is already around since end of the 1980! You mean all this time we had to run our petrol driven gadgets with fuel with an substandard, non certified additive from PressCane Ltd? Now we know why our engines are not lasting! Is there any place were we can cry for compensation? Shameful to me is also the fact, that it needs the South African Certification and Accreditation Services (SACAS) to certify this? Could somebody please explain to me, why we waste than our time and money with… Read more »

3 years ago

It should go without saying that a large corporation such as Presscane goes for ISO certification. In view of the upcoming AfCFTA, Malawian companies wishing to export need to gear up. As such, congratulations to the trailblazing initiative of Presscane, and let’s hope for many copycats ahead of the Jan 1 opening of African markets.

3 years ago

Exciting news but does the cane farmer benefit as ethnol is the end product of the sugarcane? The poor cane grower doesn’t become the chance to grow financially as his dues are got at the canemill without listing the number of products which sugarcane can financially uplift the smallest grower within the chain. Whatever this ISO is,the Ethnol must its success via the benefits to our small cane growers. It is the fair distribution of the resources to all participants in the cane industry that creates healthy competition amongst all stakeholders

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