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Malawi is collaborating with private partners to boost ethanol production

A senior official in Malawi states that the country is actively collaborating with private partners to enhance its ethanol production, aiming to create more affordable and cleaner transportation fuel.

Ethanol, derived from the breakdown of maize starch into sugar and fermentation, offers lower carbon dioxide emissions compared to petrol. However, its production depends on a reliable crop supply, which poses challenges alongside high production costs.

Gift Kadzamira, Director General of Malawi’s National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST), reveals that the Energy Ministry is partnering with local and international firms to expand biofuel production for vehicles. She emphasizes that government initiatives are informed by reports showing the potential benefits of ethanol usage, including reduced foreign exchange needs, stabilized fuel prices, lower vehicle operating costs, and decreased greenhouse gas emissions.

The ethanol program, spearheaded by the NCST and supported by the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI), seeks to foster economic development, environmental preservation, and energy self-sufficiency in Malawi.

Initiated in 2012 following researcher recommendations, the project focuses on increasing local ethanol production capacity, ensuring competitive pricing, establishing refueling stations, and promoting necessary vehicle modifications.

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