The Zimbabwean government Tuesday announced that the mandatory blending of fuel with ethanol had increased from E-10 to E-20.
This was announced at a post-Cabinet meeting in Harare by Information and Publicity minister Monica Mutsvangwa, who said:
Cabinet has adopted resumption of petrol blending at E10 from April 25, 2022, which has reduced the pump price of petrol by US$0,04 per litre. The blending will go up to E20 by end of May 2022, which will lead to a higher reduction in the price of petrol by US$0,07 per litre.
Government has, therefore, increased efforts to improve the strategic fuel reserve, with US$40 million worth of fuel having been procured in the last six months. The intention is to maintain at least a 30-day stock cover, which, at the current consumption levels, translates to 150 million litres. This fuel would be released onto the market to plug supply gaps or to stabilise prices
The Senator said the move was meant to cushion motorists from the sharp increase in fuel prices caused by the instability caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, resulting in uncertainty in fuel supplies.
Energy and Power Development Permanent Secretary, Engineer Gloria Magombo early this month said the government had reintroduced fuel blending (last month) as a way of ensuring that prices remain stable in the wake of price hikes on international markets.
Fuel prices jumped in February on international markets, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, and effects were also felt in Zimbabwe.
Magombo said the reintroduction of mandatory petrol blending, which was halted in January due to low ethanol stocks, is one of the identified measures.
She added that ethanol production is improving enabling the government to reintroduce blending.
When mandatory blending of fuel with ethanol was introduced in 2011, consumers complained saying it did not last, while others said their vehicle engines were being damaged. It was abandoned on January 7 this year, only to be resumed last month at E10.