INDENI Petroleum Refinery in Ndola has shut down its plant after running out of crude oil feedstock to process, but the country has enough fuel in reserve to last until the next consignment is delivered.
Ministry of Energy and Water Development permanent secretary Brigadier General Emelda Chola said this in an interview yesterday.
The country is expecting a new consignment of crude oil feedstock early next month and operations at Indeni Petroleum Refinery will then resume.
“As you are aware, we recently cancelled the oil contract with the supplier and all what Indeni had is almost finishing,” Brig Gen Chola said.
Government has terminated the contract for the supply of crude oil with Gunvor SA and has engaged Independent Petroleum Group (IPG) of Kuwait.
“As soon as the cargo for crude oil feedstock is supplied by the new supplies whom we have already signed a contact with, the plant will re-open. We expect this by first week of March,” she said.
Last week, Tazama Pipeline Limited shut down its plant after pumping all the crude oil feedstock to Indeni Petroleum Refinery for processing
Brig Gen Chola, however, called on Zambians to remain calm because the country has adequate stocks of fuel to last until the country receives the next consignment of the crude oil feedstock.
She also said Government has put in place measures to import finished petroleum products to ensure there is enough fuel.
Recently, Government stopped a cargo ship carrying crude feedstock from offloading at the discharging bay in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, because the consignment was contaminated.
The crude feedstock had high levels of organic chlorides similar to the cargo that was received in June last year and caused damage to machinery at Indeni Petroleum Refinery.
Indeni conducted tests to assess the extent of damage which the contaminated feedstock caused to the machinery and shut down the plant.
After the refinery shut down, an assessment revealed that the extent of the damage was estimated at US$2.8 million.