By Mc Donald Chapalapata, Contributor
Ethanol distiller, Press Cane Limited on Friday, May 22 opened the 2020 ethanol production and sales season with prayers at its distillery in Chikwawa.
Press Cane Limited Chief Executive Officer Dr. Christopher Guta said it was important for the company to start the ethanol production with prayers so as to thank God for the successful previous production year and seek guidance and blessings for the current ethanol production year.
“We thank God for the fruitful 2019 season where we managed to set a new record of production volume of 17.8 million litres from the previous record of 16.7 million litres set in 2018. Our sales volumes were also at an all-time high of 17.6 million litres, up from 17.1 million litres in 2018. On top of that we received a record setting volume of molasses of 75,695 tons, up from 65,961 tons in 2018.”
“We look forward to 2020 season with hope and expectation. We are hoping to achieve sales volume of 19.03 million litres and our expectation is that we should have higher revenues than those we achieved in 2019 and we can only do this with the help of God,” explained Guta.
Pastor Roy Joseni of Assemblies of God in Chikwawa led the prayers by basing his sermon on 1 Samuel 18 verse 7 which he dubbed ‘Drivers of Change Generation’.
“For you employees of Press Cane Limited to be drivers of change, you must use your talents and skills to provide solutions to the problems in your company and this country. You must perform beyond expectation, you must go an extra mile in your work and do not be hungry for power. Most importantly you must depend on God for you to be drivers of change,” preached Joseni.
Guta also said the opening of the production of ethanol for the 2020 season has coincided with the commencement of the mandatory ethanol fuel blending period which started on Friday 22 May 2020 as announced by the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA).
According to a letter signed by MERA Chief Executive Officer Collins Magalasi dated May 15 2020, Oil marketing companies are being advised to strictly blend petrol with ethanol fuel as provided for in the law and warned that in case of non-compliance, appropriate action will be taken in line with the Liquid Fuels and Gas Regulations and Energy Laws.
Guta also touted the performance of Press Cane Limited, a subsidiary of conglomerate Press Corporation plc, saying in the just ended year the Company got accredited as an ISO certified organisation in addition to successfully completing the establishment of Chisanja Farm Limited, a joint venture (JV) set up with local farmer associations to grow sugarcane.
“During the 2019 season, Chisanja Farm Limited sold 5,293 of the 8,584 tons of sugarcane produced on the farm to Illovo Malawi Limited enabling Press Cane and farmers in the area to earn, as a result, an appropriate dividend from the subsidiary besides contributing about 210 tons to Illovo’s molasses output,” said Guta.
He also said the company is in the process of developing its five year strategic plan which runs from next year.