AT LEAST six companies have expressed interest in setting up an ethanol production plant in the country and the Government is set to open the tender process.
Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma said in an interview yesterday that about six companies had approached the Government expressing interest to set up an ethanol plant in the country.
Mr Yaluma said the Government was currently compiling the scope of works for companies interested in taking part in the bidding process for the project, which would then be published.
He said the Government would soon be releasing a document for official expression of interest for companies interested in setting up the ethanol plant in the country. He was hopeful that the number of companies interested in bidding would go up once the scope was published.
Mr Yaluma said that management would be looking at the document to see if there were any other issues which had not been highlighted.
He explained that once that was done, the Government would now start the procurement process and evaluate the companies in an effort to pick the would-be investor in ethanol.
Mr Yaluma said the company which would be given the tender to establish the plant, would be allowed to invest in whichever part of the country. '
'It will be up to the company which will be picked to decide in which part of the country will be preferred for the project," he said.
Last week, Mahtani Group of Companies executive chairperson Rajan Mahtani said his firm had partnered with Sunbird Group of the United Kingdom to develop the first Bioethanol plant in Luapula Province at a cost of US$150 million.