CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: President Jacob Zuma’s recognition of South Africa’s emerging biofuels sector in the 2014 State of the Nation Address underscores the relevance of this new industry to the country’s economic growth plans.
President Zuma announced that: “Biofuels manufacturers have been selected and have started work.”
According to Mabele Fuels Joint Chief Executive Officer Mr. Zahir Williams: “This is a major recognition of the biofuels industry’s large scale agricultural job creation and rural development prospects. Mabele Fuels has indeed been hard at work to ensure that our construction, harvesting and production schedule is on track in order to meet the timeframe for mandatory blending of biofuels with petroleum to commence on 1 October 2015.”
Mabele Fuels also, has lauded the President’s commitment to implement the first phase of National Development Plan between 2014 – 2019.
Echoing President Zuma’s sentiments on the need to develop emerging black industrialists, agriculture as a key driver of jobs and entrepreneurship, as well as for social partners to work together in the interest of the economy, Williams emphasised that:
“As a new investor in the economy, we welcome this clarity and certainty on the macro planning and policy trajectory of the country. Being a majority black owned company pioneering the industrialisation of the biofuels industry, we are consistently collaborating with Government, farmers, funders and investors, to develop the biofuels industry for the benefit of the economy”.
The finalisation of the biofuels regulatory framework is therefore eagerly awaited by Mabele Fuels, to ensure the timely commencement of the company’s refinery engineering works, construction and grain sorghum harvesting program.
Mabele Fuels will make further announcements on the project’s progress and the finalisation of the regulatory process.
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NOTE TO EDITORS:
Mabele Fuels is a South African company owned by Black Economic Empowerment groupings, emerging farmers, local investment institutions and private investors. Its business is the manufacture of fuel-grade ethanol from grain sorghum for sale in the South African bio fuels market. Grain sorghum is cultivated in South Africa’s traditional summer grain areas, like the eastern Free State and eastern parts of the North West provinces, which receive summer rainfall. It is an ideal crop for bio fuels because it can withstand droughts and works well on fallow soil.
Mabele Fuels is at an advanced state of readiness to commence construction of a large-scale bio ethanol refinery (158 million litres per annum) in the Bothaville area of the Free State province. The project has enjoyed strong Government support and recognition. In 2012 the Department of Energy promulgated the mandatory blending of bio ethanol with petroleum. In September 2013 the Minister of Energy promulgated 1 October 2015 as the effective date for mandatory blending to commence in the country.
Mabele Fuels has been expecting imminent Government approval to enable immediate implementation of its refinery construction program, for completion before the 1 October 2015 effective date of the mandatory blending of bio fuels with petrol at a 2% blending ratio.
There has since been significant public discourse and debate about the matter, which is likely to continue into the future as the local bio fuels industry develops toward this vision. Mabele Fuels will continue to play a leading and proactive role in heightening and informing public education and awareness about biofuels in South Africa, in particular grain sorghum as a biofuels feedstock.
Mabele Fuel has published a set of Frequently Asked Questions about biofuels in South Africa. This is available for download in PDF at:
Issued on behalf of Mabele Fuels by ETHICORE Political Consulting
Ms Wisahl Jappie
Political and Communications Advisor
T: +27 (0) 21 424 1443 / 3125
M: +27 (0) 72 227 1144