THE Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has issued an investment licence to Australia’s Maysen and Borowski Claymont Joint Venture (MBCJV) and Phoenix Materials and Constructing Company of Zambia for the construction of an oil refinery and pipeline at a cost of US$1.9 billion.
Sub-Sahara Gemstone Exchange Industrial Park chairman Phesto Musonda said about 18,000 jobs are expected to be created during construction of phase while 5,000 workers will be engaged once the oil refinery is operational.
The Bwana Mkubwa oil refinery plant will be situated at the Sub-Sahara Gemstone Exchange Industrial Park in Ndola.
Mr Musonda assured that the project is on course.
“We want to assure you that we are on course with the development of the project. Yes, there have been some setbacks in the past in terms of investment climate and certain policies that affected implementation,” Mr Musonda said.
He was speaking in an interview in Ndola on Tuesday shortly after a Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) delegation paid a courtesy call on him.
He said since the joint venture agreement was signed, the firm had recorded some serious milestones.
“The project is a serious one, which has really advanced and we have since obtained an investment licence from ZDA. Also, although there was a delay, we are happy that Government has since issued and approved for us to conduct a bankable feasibility study,” Mr Musonda said.
He said talks with different partners to set up a special purpose vehicle to move the project forward are underway and that many studies have so far been done.
Mr Musonda said the new oil refinery is very catalytic to diversifying the national economy due to many bi-products expected from the implementation of the project.
The new refinery is expected to stimulate growth of other auxiliary industries such as development of commercial entities, warehousing, dry port, and container depot, skills training centre, houses and a green space.
The construction of Bwana Mkubwa oil refinery plant is expected to have a capacity to process about five million metric tonnes of crude oil annually.
The new refinery will be fed with crude oil through a new pipeline that will be built alongside the 1,800km Tazama pipeline from Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania.
The project will also involve development of two exporting lines to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania to provide efficient regional distribution of regional petroleum products.