A legacy of mining has left 10's of thousands of hectares as wasteland and youth without jobs. Many 100's of thousands of hectares of deforested land lays unproductive. Meanwhile fossil fuel imports cost over $1billion in FOREX and the pump price is only going up. We can transform this reality so that Zambia provides for itself - fuel, jobs, agricultural inputs and high-value export commodities.
Over the past 15 years the price of diesel at the pump has increased in price by approximately 300% (and in real $ terms 200%).
While domestically produced biodiesel may not lead to immediate declines in the total spend on fuels, import substitution will reduce the FOREX requirements, and the money spent on fuel will stay within the Zambian economy. Moreover domestic supplies will be less affected by international price volatility bringing stability to the Zambian diesel market.
As the Zambian economy grows the consumption of diesel has doubled and can be expected to continue to rise as agricultural, logistics and mining activities continue to grow.
Zambia relies on a single centralised processing facility (INDENI) supplied in crude by a pipeline from Tanzania (TAZAMA). Any down-time in refinery activity or disturbances to supply leave Zambia vulnerable, holding reserves rarely greater than a week. A domestic supply will create resilience.
Daily Consumption – 2M litres/day
Demand Growth – 10% per annum
Price Increases – 6 % per annum
Mandatory Blending – 5%
Supply Deficit – 38M litres/annum
More than just biodiesel...
Pongamia agroforestry offers more than just biodiesel and this is essential in the Zambian context. Charcoal and woodfuel are the principle source of energy for over 80% of the population of 13 million people. This dependence is causing large scale deforestation. By-products of pongamia pod processing include podshells (4500kcal/kg) which can be used as a charcoal and coal substitute and pressed seedcake which is a very potent biogas feedstock and effective organic fertiliser.