As Uganda starts producing ethanol, its government revealed that it will enact a law that will allow the blending of such type of alcohol and petrol, hoping that it will save the country millions of dollars in foreign exchange.
According to Mayur Madhvani, the joint managing director of Madhvani Group, if the bill passes and fusion is then implemented, the country could save 20 million dollars every year.
Currently, production is being done at the largest ethanol plant in East Africa, which is owned by Madhvani’s company. Located at the back of the country’s biggest sugar factory in Jinja, the plant aims to produce 20 million liters of ethanol per year. To ensure good-quality, it extracts the alcohol from sugarcane molasses using a meticulous process.
Aside from fusion with petrol, Madhvani also stated that ethanol could be fused into crude oil to ease its viscosity. According to experts, Uganda’s oil is waxy, making it difficult to transport. Now, fusion would make such a fuel easier to transport by pipeline to the Tanzanian seaport of Tanga.
Uganda plans to start commercial production by 2020. To date, there are more than 1.6 billion barrels of oil stored in the western part of the country.