Ethiopia launches sale of ethanol-blended petroleum

Oct 13, 2008 02:00 AM

Ethiopia has launched the sale of ethanol-blended petroleum by making a little price deduction on benzene. Accordingly, the mixture of ethanol and petroleum would be distributed to filling station in the capital, Addis, and its environs and would latter be extended to other parts of the country.
The ethanol-blended petroleum was officially launched at the Petroleum Blending Depot in Sululta, outskirts of Addis Ababa. During the occasion, the Ethiopian Minister of Mines and Energy, Alemayehu Tegenu said the use of ethanol-blended petroleum will significantly contribute to the country's economic development.

Ethiopia imports close to $ 1 bn-worth of petroleum from the world market. The country made a 5 % increase on petroleum import.
At the moment, a litre of benzene is sold at over $ 1, while the ethanol-blended petroleum goes for less than $ 1 per litre, with a 37 Ethiopian cents difference. According to government officials, the launching of the ethanol-blended petroleum, besides savingforeign currency, would help meet the energy demand of the country.

The ethanol-blended petroleum constitutes 5 % of ethanol. It is alleged that the government has allocated hundreds of millions of dollars in as subsidies to three sugar producing factories for the supply of ethanol to continue delivering ethanol-blended petroleum in the future.
One of the aims of bio-fuel development is utilizing ethanol by mixing with petroleum, according to Tegenu. A Sudanese oil company-Nile Petroleum-is undertaking the ethanol-blended petroleum works.

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