Both Kenya and Zimbabwe have relied heavily on imported petroleum in the transportation sector. The annual average increase in petroleum imports in Kenya was 10 percent from 1969 to 1973, although from 1973 to 1980 the rate of increase dropped to 4.3 percent because of rising prices. By the mid-1970's decreasing prices for molasses and increasing transport costs, were strong incentives for Kenya to produce fuel alcohol from molasses. The first plant to be built in Kenya was closed in 1982 without ever going into production, but a second plant, at Muhuroni, came on stream in June 1982. The alcohol produced--about 60,000 liters per day--is blended with 65 percent premium gasoline and 25 percent regular, and is marketed in the Nairobi area. Production costs, transport and blending total 57.3 US cents per liter, compared to 38.8 cents and 36.1 cents for premium and regular gasoline respectively. However, a reduced sales tax is charged on fuel alcohol, making it competitive with gasoline in Kenya. In Zimbabwe, where there are coal and hydroelectric resources, only 11 percent of the total energy supply is in the form of imported petroleum. Fuel alcohol production was considered in Zimbabwe as early as 1964 as a way to dispose of surplus molasses, but it was not until 1978, when petroleum prices had risen and sugar prices fallen, that the project was ruled to be economic. Zimbabwe's Triangle plant, in the south-east of the country, started production in 1980, ahead of schedule. It produces alcohol from molasses and cane juice. The alcohol is blended with gasoline, with the resulting blend selling for around 43 US cents per liter in Harare, virtually the same as the price of gasoline. (Author)

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  • Accession Number: 00393948
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1985 12:00AM