CAPE TOWN:Mabele Fuels - a pioneering investor in the nascent biofuels industry in South Africa, welcomes the Department of Energy’s publication of the South African Biofuels Regulatory Framework in the Government Gazette of 15 January 2014.
Since the release of the 2007 Biofuels Industrial Strategy, Mabele Fuels has answered the call from Government for private sector investment in developing South Africa’s biofuels industry. The company has participated extensively in key Government consultations on the development and finalization of the industry’s regulations.
“The gazetting of the biofuels regulatory framework takes us a step closer towards closure of a lengthy regulatory process. Once regulatory closure is achieved, we are able to realize our longstanding commitment to develop South Africa’s largest bio ethanol refinery at a cost of R 2,5 billion” says Mabele Fuels Joint CEO Zahir Williams.
Job studies have recognised the Mabele Fuels project for its ability to create 15 000 – 18 000 rural and agricultural jobs in the Free State Province, through farming to meet the demand for grain sorghum as feedstock for the production of biofuels.
“The speedy finalization of these regulations will enable our project to progress to the construction phase and to be completed in time to meet the 1 October 2015 regulatory date for the commencement of mandatory blending of biofuels with petrol. This will be good news and inspire confidence for our stakeholders and especially the farming communities who stand to directly benefit in terms of sustainable economic development opportunities ” adds Williams
Mabele Fuels will make further announcements on the project’s progress and its participation in the consultative process on the published regulations.
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