CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: The conclusion of the public consultative process on the South African Biofuels Regulatory Framework is a significant milestone for Mabele Fuels, a pioneering investor in the local biofuels industry.
The Department of Energy recently published the Biofuels Regulatory Framework for stakeholder and public comment by 10 February 2014.
According to Mabele Fuels Joint Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Zahir Williams “We are excited that the period for public comment has closed and that the Department of Energy has publicly targeted end of February 2014 for completion of the biofuels regulatory process. We believe that significant progress has been achieved in finalizing a sound regulatory framework that will contribute to the establishment of a sustainable biofuels industry.”
The conclusion of the biofuels regulatory consultative process takes Mabele Fuels another step closer to its long held vision of constructing and operating a world-class biofuels refinery in South Africa. Mabele Fuels’ refinery is set to manufacture 158 million litres per annum of fuel grade bioethanol from grain sorghum by the 1 October 2015 timeframe for mandatory blending of biofuels with petroleum.
Job creation, industrialisation, rural transformation and agricultural development remain core priorities of government and for a developing nation such as ours, which will undoubtedly be reflected in this week’s State of the Nation address.
The biofuels sector as a whole presents enormous untapped job creation potential.
“Our project is positioned to deliver between 15 000 – 18 000 mainly agricultural jobs through our R2.5 billion investment into developing South Africa’s largest bioethanol refinery at Bothaville in rural Free State. Therefore, Mabele Fuels, is encouraged by this significant development of reaching closure of the regulatory consultative process which signals to us that government is committed to leveraging the biofuels industry as a contributor to large scale job creation and rural development” says Mr. Willliams.
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