Ethanol Company Limited (EthCo), a subsidiary of conglomerate Press Corporation Limited (PCL) based in Nkhotakota, has paid K52 million in resettlement compensation to extend land earmarked for the Raw Materials (Rama) project.
The project seeks to produce syrup as an additional raw material to the traditional molasses for ethanol production.
This will result into full utilisation of EthCo distillery in Dwangwa, with the volumes doubling from nine million to 18 million litres of ethanol per year.
EthCo chief executive officer Lusubilo Chakaniza said in an interview yesterday the additional 16 hectares is at Mpondagaga in Nkhotakota.
“The acquisition of this additional land has been done in line with EthCo’s strategic objectives that include future expansions in line with market demands,” said Chakaniza.
While the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) is completing the process of coming up with a pricing model for ethanol as a stand-alone fuel, the current demand for ethanol as a petrol blend is more than what can be produced from the two existing distilleries, EthCo and PressCane in Chikwawa largely on account of feedstock inadequacy.
The molasses supply from nearby Dwangwa Sugar Corporation is only enough for half of the EthCo distillery’s capacity utilisation, according to Chakaniza.
She said EthCo has followed all the due land acquisition processes. n