Guyana considering ethanol fuel mix

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 21:00 by GxMedia

An East Demerara sugar cane field

Motorists may soon be powering their vehicles with a 10% fuel blend with emphasis placed on locally produced bio fuel being the additive, Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy announced on Wednesday.

Addressing the closing session of a symposium on bio energy, he said that the Office of the Prime Minister was already examining legislation to facilitate the fuel-mix.

“If we pursue blending of fuel the added element must be what we produce rather than what we import,” he told the gathering in the board of his Regent Street-based ministry.

He said that annually almost 15,000 vehicles enter the nations’ road network which results in 6000 barrels of gas being utilised daily.

According to the minister, the sugar and rice industries could reap the benefits of bio fuels. “This will reduce dependence on fossil fuels and also environmental problems”, he said. Rice husk, he noted, could help to supply electricity to rice mills themselves.
It was noted too that the bio energy ambitions of the government remains a “national pursuit” and, according to Ramsammy, “we in Guyana must do something” where the high use of fossil fuel is concerned.

He announced that tests have shown that sugar cane could be grown at Ebini in the Intermediate savannahs He reassured that none of Guyana’s cane lands for sugar production would be diverted for ethanol production.
“Guyana still has a tremendous opportunity for production of sugar”, he said, adding, “not one hectare for producing sugar will be converted for production of ethanol.”

Earlier , Dr Clairmont Clementson who has been working on the Ministry of Agriculture’s bio energy programme, stated that the project so far has seen resounding success. The successful aspects highlighted by Clementson included the training of persons at the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuco) and other related agencies in bio fuel production as well as the installation of a demonstration plant at the Albion sugar estate.

Government has signed agreements with several international partners to promote projects on renewable energy and bio energy, all aimed at the development of a budding agro-energy sector.