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Zimbabwe’s push to use cleaner and environmentally-friendly diesel will see motorists forking out a lot more for the liquid, whose price might rival that of petrol.

Last year, government said it would phase out diesel 500 in favour of diesel 50 with effect from May 1 this year.

The concern of high prices comes as the price of diesel 50 has come close to that of petrol.

In e-mailed responses to Standardbusiness on Tuesday, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) acting CEO Edington Mazambani said diesel 50 was made more expensive by the method the fuel was transported into the country.

“The diesel 50 which is in the market is transported using the more expensive mode of transport, which is by road. Previously it could be transported by pipeline. Its price will come down once oil companies start picking up ldiesel 50 from Noic [National Oil Infrastructure Company] depots through the pipeline,” he said.

“Measures have already been put in place to start pumping diesel 50 using the pipeline and this will have immediate effect on the price once all stocks of diesel 500 are used up.”

He said that diesel 500 in stock at the time of banning would still be supplied into the market until all the stocks are exhausted.

“Diesel 500 is therefore still selling at the much lower price compared to the diesel 50 whose price is almost equal to the price of blend. Once all the diesel 500 stocks have been exhausted, oil companies will start distributing diesel 50 transported through the pipeline from the Noic depots to the market. with effect from May 1 2018, no diesel 500 will be sold in Zimbabwe,” he said.

“At that point, the price of diesel 50 will go down by about 12c/litre as it will no longer be transported by road which made it expensive.” The Standard