An official in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development Permanent has said the government has reintroduced fuel blending as a way of ensuring that prices remain stable in the wake of price hikes on international markets.
Fuel prices jumped in February on international markets, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, and effects were also felt in Zimbabwe.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail on Saturday, Energy Secretary, Engineer Gloria Magombo, said although there were factors out of the country’s control which contribute to fuel prices, authorities are doing their best to manage what is within their reach. She said:
The reintroduction of mandatory petrol blending, which was halted in January due to low ethanol stocks, is one of the identified measures.
Currently Zimbabwe is blending its petrol at E-10, and there are indications that it may grow.
This is a result of the reintroduction of ethanol blending, which is one of our key import substitution measures. We had to temporarily stop blending due to low production, but the ethanol production is improving and we have reintroduced blending.
Petrol is retailing at US$1.63, while diesel is selling at US$1.71. The highest blending ratio achieved by Zimbabwe so far is E-20.
Eng Magombo said the Statutory Instrument, which guides how fuel prices are calculated, will cushion motorists from wanton fuel price hikes.
She said while Zimbabwe cannot control factors such Free-On-Board costs, which are internationally determined, authorities can make adjustments like taxes and blending ratios.
She added that Zimbabwe’s prices are structured according to Statutory Instrument (Statutory Instrument 270 of 2019) which directs when and how prices are calculated.
Eng Magombo also said fuel sold in local currency is there but is scarce on the market as most of it is going towards national projects around the country and ZUPCO. She added that only 17 per cent of local currency fuel is being released to private motorists.
More: The Sunday Mail