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Production at Press Cane Limited has increased with nearly 50% (from 60, 000 liters to 90, 000 liters per day) following the commissioning of a new upgraded plant worth K2.84 billion (US$3.9 million).

Press Cane, a subsidiary of Press Corporation, embarked on the venture in January this year in a bid to increase production of its main products: fuel ethanol and rectified spirit. It was commissioned Wednesday.

Speaking at the launch in Chikwawa Press Corporation Group CEO Dr. George Partridge said the new plant will have environmental and economical benefits for the country.

“The plant is of tremendous value as we have increased our capacity… more importantly it has also other benefits especially to the environment in that other waste management from the plant will now be recycled than just being thrown away,” he said.

He said even though production has been boosted with nearly 50%, it is still minimal compared to demand.

“As per the law of this country oil companies are required to mix fuel with 20 percent of ethanol so our market is determined by fuel demand opportunity at 20 percent which we’re even failing to provide at the moment so in future we will have to do more upgrades,” he said.

Press Cane General Manager Dr. Chris Guta said the company’s revenue is bound to increase further.

“This initiative will enable us generate more revenue, transform our company into one that depends on volumes of sales as opposed to just margins. If we didn’t do that now in future it would have cost us much more money,” he said.

Press Cane has two main strata markets which are oil marketing companies such as Puma, Energem, Petroda and other companies such as Nampak and Pharmanova buy industrial alcohol or rectified spirit.

The plant upgrade has been undertaken since January 2017 by an Indian Company called Praj Industries and sub-contractor Encor Products Limited.