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An Ethanol Plant In Zimbabwe Is Expanding Despite Critics

Green Fuel (Pvt) Ltd. a controversial ethanol project run by him is helping to reduce the need for imports while steadily increasing output and providing employment.

Two decades of economic turmoil have plunged Zimbabwe into currency starvation, creating occasional fuel shortages. Green Fuel (Pvt) Ltd. a controversial ethanol project run by him is helping to reduce the need for imports while steadily increasing output and providing employment.


Activist groups say nearby farmers in Chisumbanje, in the country's Southeast, are not being adequately compensated for land currently used to grow sugarcane for the plant. A 2015 parliamentary committee report claimed the plant emitted toxic waste and also increased truck traffic, leading to more deadly traffic collisions. Green Fuel, which denies polluting waterways, did not respond to questions about the criticism and allegations.


The main backer of the initiative is Billy Rautenbach, a Zimbabwean businessman who has previously been in the European Union and the United States. Blacklists for alleged links to the regime of the late discredited former President Robert Mugabe. The Agriculture and Rural Development Authority is a minority partner.

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