Government has assured motorists and members of the public that the country will continue having sufficient fuel stocks on the market during the time Indeni Refinery will be closed.
Energy permanent secretary Peter Mumba said in a statement that at the time of the
closure of Indeni this weekend, Indeni will have about 11.9 million litres of
diesel to last for 11 days and 4.8 million litres of petrol to last 10 days.
He said the said stocks are expected to last up to the end of this month.
Mr Mumba further explained that in addition, government through trhe Energy
Regulation Board, ERB, has requested Oil Marketing Companies, OMCs, to import
finished petroleum products.
He said so far the OMCs have committed a combined total of 52.0 million litres of
diesel and 20.0 million litres of petrol for the period November to December 2007.
Mr Mumba explained that the OMCs will ship in a total of 32.55 million litres of
diesel to last 32 days 12.5 million litres of petrol to last f31 days.
The energy permanent secretary noted that this fuel will be available during the
temporary closure of Indeni.
Mr Mumba said the next 60,000 metric tonnes of feedstock is expected in
Dar-es-Salaam on 24th November, 2007.
Indeni is expected to resume production by 1st December, 2007 saying the refined
products from the 60,000 metric tonnes cargo of feedstock will last the country
until the first week of January, 2008.
Other measures put in place is the shipment of 90,000 metric tonnes of feedstock
which is expected to arrive in Dar-es-Salaam between 15th and 18th December, 2008
whose refined products would last the country until the third week of February,
Mr. Mumba said with these measures in place, motorists and the travelling public
need not panic.
Indeni Refinery will on 18th November exhaust the 60,000 metric tonnes of petroleum
feedstock which was procured in September 2007 and the refinery will undergo a
temporary shutdown awaiting the arrival of the next consignment scheduled for 24th
Meanwhile, United Party for National Development (UPND) has expressed concern at media reports that Indeni Oil Refinery in Ndola has run out of crude oil and is expected to shut down on Saturday this week.
UPND Vice President, Richard Kapita said the revelation is of great concern because
the country recently experienced fuel shortages which adversely affected many
sectors of the economy.
In a statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today, Mr. Kapita said a similar
occurrence would devastate the economy.
He observed that the disclosure by Indeni officials that government has removed
Total, a shareholder in Indeni, from procurement process of crude oil, is
Mr Kapita added that the decision taken by government has resulted in recurrent
shortages of feed stocks because government has single handily taken on the task
leaving out the partner, Total.
He charged that government needed to be serious in the manner it handles procurement
of oil, as it is the lifeline of the economy.
Mr Kapita urged government to look for long-term alternative supplies of crude oil
such as Angola which can be harnessed through the Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC) arrangement.
He added that there is also need for government to build more reservoirs at Indeni
in order to store more crude oil.