The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) says two international firms have submitted bids to provide fuel marking services as it battles to meet a 2018 first quarter deadline.
The two firms are Swiss-based manufacturer of security inks, SICPA SA and Authentix of the United States of America.
Zera chief executive Gloria Magombo said the fuel marking regulations had been completed following a request for expressions of interest from companies that provide the marking technology.
Zimbabwe plans to introduce the fuel marking programme to increase accountability in the fuel delivery chain and maintain quality from source. The programme was initially anticipated to commence in January 2018.
“At the moment we are carrying out consultations on the funding of the fuel marking. We (will) award the tender after approval of the funding (model). All else being equal we expect the roll-out process to start in the first quarter of 2018,” she said.
“The next level of bids through RFP(request for proposal) will give us a clear guide on the final costs of marking.”
Industry experts estimate that the programme will could save the country at least $240 million annually in revenue lost to smuggling and eventually lower fuel prices.
Magombo also told journalists on Tuesday that the country’s monthly imports of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) are up from last year’s two million tonnes per month to an average about 3 million tonnes.
“As of August this year, we were already at 23.6 million tonnes of LPG as compared to the same time last year where we had 15 tonnes of LPG which had been imported. This means we are definitely going to surpass last year’s annual figure of 24.9 million tonnes of LPG gas.”
“While there has not been any load shedding, there has also been an increased acceptance of gas as an alternative energy source, especially for cooking which has also reduced the use of firewood as alternative fuel,” she said.
Zimbabweans are fast adopting LPG which retails between $1.50 and $1.70 per kilogramme. Electricity costs 9.63 cents per kilowatt hour.–source