(Xinhua) -- Tucked at the back of Uganda’s biggest
sugar factory in the eastern Ugandan district of Jinja is east
Africa’s largest ethanol plant.
Production has started and Rogers
Mulamba, a Supervisor at the plant, carefully assesses the
process through a couple of monitors in the control room.
The 36 million U.S. dollar plant is
owned by Madhvani Group, a local company that plans to produce
20 million liters of ethanol annually.
Ethanol is distilled from the
fermentation of materials containing carbohydrates or sugar.
Ingredients for making ethanol include sugarcane molasses,
grain, sorghum, maize and sugar beet among others.
At this plant, the ethanol is
extracted from sugarcane molasses through a meticulous process.
Government says it plans to enact a
law that will allow the blending of ethanol with petrol, a move
that will save the east African country millions of dollars in
Mayur Madhvani, Joint Managing
Director Madhvani Group, said if the ethanol-petrol fusion
is accepted, the country would be saving 20 million dollars
He also said the ethanol could be
fused into the country’s crude oil to ease its viscosity while
it is being transported by pipeline from western Uganda to the
Tanzanian seaport of Tanga.
Uganda’s oil is waxy, according to
experts, a factor that makes it hard to transport.
Uganda has over 1.6 billion barrels of
oil in the western part of the country. It plans to start
commercial production by 2020, according to government.