Minister of Energy and Water Development, Kenneth Konga says a ship carrying Zambian crude oil has docked at the port of Dar es Salaam and that fuel will soon start flowing smoothly to filling stations.
Mr Konga was addressing a press briefing after a tour of the Copperbelt Province and Indeni Petroleum Refinery in Ndola yesterday.
He said the shortage was due to delays in finalising a letter of credit amounting to US$42 million that was due to the shipper supplying 60,000 metric tonnes of crude oil that would be offloaded and pumped through the Tanzania-Zambia (TAZAMA) Pipeline.
Mr Konga said Government was addressing the issue of credit with utmost urgency.
“The ship has docked in Dar es Salaamâ€¦that is evidence enough that the crude oil will come, so it is just addressing these issues of the letter of credit. Once that is done, the fuel will flow,” Mr Konga said.
He assured the nation that Government was making every effort to ensure the shortage of the commodity was cushioned off at the earliest possible time.
Indeni ran out of crude oil, prompting its closure and would be operational once the crude was offloaded.
Mr Konga also appealed to oil marketing companies (OMCs) to continue importing fuel to address the current shortage. “It is just some amendments to the letter of credit that has caused the delay,” he said.
He also urged the OMCs to work out ways of dealing with the problem.
Mr Konga observed during his tour of the Copperbelt that service stations belonging to BP Zambia and Kobil Oil had the supply of petrol but could not meet the demand.
Diesel is readily available.
With Total Fina, who has a 75 per cent market share on the Copperbelt, having little supply of petrol, the Minister said the oil marketing firm needs to get into an agreement with other OMCs on acquiring the commodity.
“I would like to urge Total to find ways of how they can collaborate with other organisations in dealing with fuel to ease the shortage.
“I also urge the OMCs to find a way of moving their stocks from Lusaka to the Copperbelt. There are enough stocks of fuel in Lusaka,” the minister said.
In Lusaka, KANGWA MULENGA reports that the fuel shortage being experienced in some parts of the country has now spread to Lusaka.
An on the spot check at most filling stations yesterday revealed that the commodity had run out.
Queues of vehicles formed at filling stations around the city. At BP filling stations at Arcades and Manda Hill Shopping Centre, several motorists waited for fuel for a long time but by press time the situation had normalised.
Fuel attendants said motorists were buying in bulk in anticipation that the shortage will get worse.
â€œI donâ€™t think the fuel we have can last for the next few days because some motorists have started buying in bulk. Some fuel is being kept for account holders only,â€ said one fuel attendant at BP Manda Hill.
Other service stations which had motorists waiting to access fuel were Engen and Total on the Great East Road.
Ministry of Energy and Water Development Permanent Secretary, Buleti Nsemukila warned fuel dealers to desist from hoarding the commodity as they anticipate a shortfall in supply.
Dr Nsemukila said in an interview yesterday that Government had meetings with OMC officials who have since assured the ministry of the availability of the commodity.
He said there was no need for panic buying because Government has put in place measures to ensure fuel was available.
The OMCâ€™s had continued to import the commodity from South Africa and Mozambique to caution the shortage.
Dr Nsemukila also disclosed that yesterday two trains with fuel left Livingstone for Ndola.
â€œAs government we have intervened, and I can confirm that two trains with fuel being imported from South Africa today (yesterday) left Livingstone for Ndola.
So, these are some of the measures we have put in place to control the situation,â€ he said.
Ba DR LPM,what`s going on?Failure to plan is planning to fail.
September 2005, October 2007… 25 months apart, but it’s the same sad story. The last time we sacked our energy minister…. has that helped?
for whose benefit are you cut-and-pasting????? Why don’t you create your own blog if you want to express yourself so desperately??? ITS REALLY REALLY ANNOYING!!!!
Ba Nkandu its very true, why all this cut and paste on the blog????awe its too much now!!!!!!!!!!
Well, go and run your other ‘sister’ blog then…. I have access to the same material you are posting, why then must you re-post here?
AND, you did not answer my question, for WHO’S BEENFIT ARE YOU POSTING?
I have every right to be here, why should I migrate? It wouldn’t be fair for me to ask you to migrate, so why are you suggesting I migrate?
And you are asking who I am?
A Zambian, studying abroad and interested in the goings-on at home. And regular contributor to this blog, especially on the sports pages. Does that make me less of a Lusaka Times citizen then you? Have I not been informed of some trivial hierarchy? Are you trying to impose Mugabe-esque intimidation tactics on the users of this blog?
WHO, indeed, ARE YOU?
Mwaiche Pragmatist.Potholes everywhere,over 70% UNEMPLOYMENT,blackouts the order of the day while UTH is now specialised in simply offering prescriptions because they don`t have any medicine in stock.I can`t even keep up with when either UNZA or CBU is open or closed in a single semester.As though this isn`t enough,now it`s FUEL SHORTAGES.What DEMAGOGY are you now going to come up with in blind support of your BOSS?Mwaiche,failure to plan is planning to fail.
Chapi you’re being kind with the unemployment rates, the actual percentage is 75% – 80% unemployment rate. It is a shame that the MMD party wants to make the whole nation believe that the Zambian economy is improving.
The entire cabinet should step down and the President must resign and call for early elections!
Pundit you are a big fool i have ever come across
#14 TOP, you are biggest ***** the earth have ever produced.
Really, peepo, I agree with # 5 and # 6. The topic is Fuel shortage hits Lusaka. It IS very annoying when one starts reading the comments and then finds that someone has gone completely off tangent – with a “cut-and-paste” for that matter. Hello!!!!! Let’s get back to the subject – PLEASE!!!
kwena this is shame!!! after fake promises that sunday will bring us back to normal, but what do we have twapenga pafula, ba banda. resighn if thing are not on ur side.
This journey theaecs all of us the incredible value of touching the world one person at a time.Thank you for sharing your travels and gifting us with your experiences. Grace is absolutely an amazing little girl. She will bless all of us to watch her grow and change in Spokane. Together with her brothers and family she does own the world! Safe travels to all of you.Carol,Sophia and Olivia Waldenberg
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