Press Cane Limited has announced that plans to construct a $20 million fertiliser making plant in Chikwawa are at an advanced stage.
In an interview, the company’s operations manager, Bryson Mkhomaanthu, said the development is aimed at minimising the constant bad smell around the dumping sites and parts of Chikwawa due to ethanol by-products.
“Once everything is done, we shall cease to use the effluent points which are used to dump waste matter which has been making the bad smell. The idea then will be to evaporate the effluent, dry it and use it with some raw materials to make fertiliser.
“We have adopted the zero liquid discharge system to respond to the outcry of residents of some parts the district and the surrounding areas on the smell produced by the company due to the effluent produced from the sugar mill process,” he said.
He said the company is currently in talks with potential dealers to sell the company fertiliser making machines for the project.
“We have and are still engaging prospective companies that sell the milling machines but we are yet to identify the right one,” he said.
In a separate interview, the company’s out-grower manager Connex Chilangwe earlier said the distillery has exploited other uses of ethanol to end the smell, adding that it contains some amounts of potassium which would be ideal for all types of crops.
He said once the machine is commissioned and fully functional, people should expect not only an end to the bad smell, but also good soil fertility.
PressCane is the main producer of ethanol fuel also known as anhydrous alcohol and industrial alcohol.
The company has been under fire from traditional leaders and residents of the district for not adhering to the environmental requirements when dumping the residues. n