Conglomerate Press Corporation Limited (PCL) says the Ethanol Driven Vehicle Project (EDVP) has been put on hold because the proposed prices of fos
sil fuel do not make business sense.
The project, which was pioneered by dual-listed PCL in 2015 through its subsidiaries PressCane Limited and Ethanol Company Limited (EthCo) based in Chikwawa and Nkhotakota respectively, was touted as the right alternative for petroleum fuel.
“Although we are not able to produce the required amounts of hydrous ethanol as it requires a huge investment, an investment [in ethanol fuel] does not make business sense if you look at the fossil fuel prices,” said PLC group chief executive officer George Partridge.
The EDV project was initiated in 2006 after a Cabinet directive in 2004 to explore other sources of fuel for vehiclesto contribute to economic development by promoting use of ethanol as an alternative energy source.
In a separate interview, PressCane general manager, Christopher Guta, said the project from a policy perspective is on hold.
“The pricing model that we have now is not good enough for us to continue with the project and deliver ethanol on to the market, but I am hoping that in the near future the model for pricing will be conducive for business,” he said.
Apart from pricing, Guta said the country needs to work on increasing production of raw materials such as sugarcane to produce ethanol. n