A Chinese firm on Wednesday launched an ethanol processing plant in central Zambia, which the government says will go a long way in helping the country tackle fuel problems and reduce poverty.
The $9 million plant, built by the Zhongkai International Company, will result in the creation of about 200 direct jobs while another 600,000 people are expected to benefit from the investment.
The plant will produce ethanol through agricultural products like cassava and maize. By-products like liquid fertilizer, biofuel and carbon dioxide will also be produced.
Zambia’s Vice-President Inonge Wina, who commissioned the plant, commended the Chinese firm for fulfilling its investment pledge by actualizing the investment.
The Zambian vice-president said the investment will go a long way in reducing poverty and vulnerability as well as in helping the country deal with its fuel and energy problems.
“This plant has given us the commercial value of cassava and farmers will now need to take cassava growing seriously,” she said.
She further lauded the bilateral cooperation that has existed between the two countries over the years and commended China for its continued support in Zambia’s development strides.
Li Jie, Zambia’s Ambassador to Zambia, said the investment will help Zambia reduce its importation of ethanol.
He said the investment will have spiral over benefits to other sectors of the economy in the area such as transportation and service sectors as well as the creation of both direct and indirect jobs.
The Chinese envoy said industrialization was a sure way for countries to enhance development and that it was one of the pillars of the Sino-Africa relations.
China, he said, was willing to share its industrialization experience with Zambia and pledged to attract more Chinese investment to the southern African nation.