US$190m ethanol plant planned for Kawambwa

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CONSTRUCTIION of a multi-million ethanol processing plant in Kawambwa in Luapula Province by Sunbird Bioenergy Africa will start soon, says chief executive officer Richard Bennett.

Mr Bennett, announced in a statement issued by Luapula provincial Minister’s office, that the construction works for the new plant would cost $190 million.

Mr Bennett said this when he led a delegation, comprising partners from the United Kingdom and contractors from China, yesterday on a tour of the site at Kawambwa  Muyembe area.

He said the construction of the plant will be completed in 12 months time.

“We can’t start building the plant this year because we have no cassava to process into ethanol. We need a critical mass of cassava by the time the plant is ready,” he said.

He said that, “We have engaged China Jiangxi, CMBM to put up ethanol refinery plant, construction to finish in 2020.”

Once operational, Mr. Bennett said, the plant will produce 120 million litres of ethanol per year which will translate into 10 percent import substitution of petroleum products into Zambia.

He said the Sunbird out-grower scheme was also targeting to create 20,000 business opportunities for farmers in Kawambwa farmers and once fully operational.

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