ZCCM-IH Chief Executive Officer Dr Pius Kasolo has strongly defended the decision to sale the oil exploration license to a Nigerian oil firm Oranto Petroleum.
Some sections of the Zambian society has questioned the rationale behind ZCCM-IH’s decision to give up its oil and gas exploration license to a Oranto.
Oranto will own a 90% stake in this project while ZCCM-IH will retain 10%.
Dr Kasolo said the decision to partner with Oranto was strategic as it will allow ZCCM-IH to acquire technical skills from their Nigerian counterparts.
He said Oranto will also provide funding and technical support for the project.
Dr Kasolo stated that technical support will include the provision of training to ZCCM-IH Technical Staff in oil and gas exploration and production.
“We are delighted to announce that the Company has been granted two onshore Oil and Gas exploration licenses by the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development of Zambia (MoMMD). The two licensed oil blocks are situated in the Western and Muchinga provinces of Zambia. The granting of this license by the MoMMD is in line with ZCCM-IH’s strategy to undertake mining related diversification particularly in the energy sector,” Dr Kasolo said.
He said in order to undertake exploration works on the license area, ZCCM-IH has partnered with Oranto, a Nigerian based and the largest privately-owned oil exploration and production company in Africa.