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Alba Iulia
Friday, August 7, 2020

There is need to wait for expert confirmation on the alleged discovery of oil in Gwembe by residents

Columns There is need to wait for expert confirmation on the alleged discovery...


Economics Association of Zambia President Lubinda Habazoka says there is need to wait for expert confirmation on the alleged discovery of oil in Gwembe by residents.

Commenting on media reports that locals in Gwembe Southern Province have spotted a liquid substance that they suspect could be crude oil coming from a mountain in Gwembe’s Chisanga area, Dr Habazoka said there are too many rumors in Zambia.

“What is true is that in southern province we have a lot of coal. Coal is crude oil in solid form. Zambia faces forex rate problems partly due to fuel importations. To reduce this vulnerability, we need to move to electric cars and also discover domestic sources of fuel.What such initiative even though expensive is coal liquefaction”, he said.

Below is a full write up…

The discovery of oil in Gwembe????

We need to wait for expert confirmation otherwise too many rumors in Zambia.

What is true is that in southern province we have a lot of coal. Coal is crude oil in solid form.

Zambia faces forex rate problems partly due to fuel importations. To reduce this vulnerability, we need to move to electric cars and also discover domestic sources of fuel.

What such initiative even though expensive is coal liquefaction.

Coal liquefaction is a process of converting coal into liquid hydrocarbons: liquid fuels and petrochemicals. This process is often known as “Coal to X”, where X can be many different hydrocarbon-based products. However, the most common process chain is “Coal to Liquid Fuels” (CTL).

Coal liquefaction originally was developed at the beginning of the 20th century. The best known CTL process is Fischer–Tropsch synthesis (FT), named after the inventors Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in the 1920s. The FT synthesis is the basis for indirect coal liquefaction (ICL) technology. Friedrich Bergius, also a German chemist, invented direct coal liquefaction (DCL) as a way to convert lignite into synthetic oil in 1913.

South Africa developed its own CTL technology in the 1950s. The South African Coal, Oil and Gas Corporation (Sasol) was founded in 1950 as part of industrialization process that the South African government considered essential for continued economic development and autonomy. However, South Africa had no domestic oil reserves and this made the country very vulnerable to disruption of supplies coming from outside, albeit for different reasons at different times.

Sasol was a successful way to protect the country’s balance of payment against the increasing dependence on foreign oil. For years its principal product was synthetic fuel and this business enjoyed significant government protection in South Africa during the apartheid years for its contribution to domestic energy security. Although it was generally much more expensive to produce oil from coal than from natural petroleum, the political as well as economic importance of achieving as much independence as possible in this sphere was sufficient to overcome any objections.

Early attempts to attract private capital, foreign or domestic, were unsuccessful, and it was only with state support that the coal liquefaction could start. CTL continued to play a vital part in South Africa’s national economy, providing around 30% of its domestic fuel demand. The democratization in the 1990s has made Sasol search for products that could prove more competitive in the global marketplace, and as of the new millennium Sasol is focusing primarily on its petrochemical business, as well as on efforts to convert natural gas into crude oil (GTL) usings its expertise in Fischer–Tropsch synthesis.

In order to do this, we need academia to team up with the energy ministry, maybe ZCCM IH and other funders to come up with a domestic program…


  1. Is this what people at EAZ are paid for? Honestly are you giving us a lecture on coal liquification? This man is lost at sea, he doesn’t know what it takes to be EAZ president, yaba.

  2. True that.
    We will need expertise to rig since our graduates and engineers don’t show case their prowess.
    But I know we can do this ourselves.
    Let this thing be Zambian though.
    You are exploring somewhere else, it manifests elsewhere.

  3. Discovering oil in PF is castastrophic as it will be plundered by these thieves. This government has zero capability or brains to use that oil to our benefit, they can even turn our country into Somali

  4. As economists , you would have expected them to say if SASOL has being doing it , let’s learn from them, why reinvent the wheel ?

  5. There is no oil in Gwembwme please. Stop dreaming and go back to discussing politics. Oil does not ooze from the ground anymore.

    • Hehehe

      ati comming out of a mountain ???

      Look closely you will find one pastor has been praying there and predicting miracles

  6. ZAMBIANS…..it’s mud!

    Fingers crossed anyway, ……you never question God’s miracles. It’s what we need for sure, but trust me our govt will get investors in who externalise the majority of the income.

  7. The Good Doctor]s explanation i,s sadly, an almost word for word extract from Googles’s wikipedia. Did someone mention “Plagiarism??. In any case its nothing to be excited about for 2 reasons – 1) We cannot manage any of our resources; 2) The world is moving away from oil to electrical power

  8. Lets start preparing. We will now be very rich. Can someone abroad bring me one of those headcloths those Arabs wear? Also Zimbabweans will provide the cheap labour because we dont want Zambians doing dirty jobs. Lungu we want a Ministry of Oil production separate on its own. Gwembe must have an international airport and casinos

  9. I concur with my brother here. There is no need for people to get carried away before facts are ascertained. This is why we have a government in place to administer such findings for the benefit of the entire nation. Kz

  10. I would rather it is not found in the current regime if it ever exists. Zambia will end up having 1000 districts created. 1000 fire trucks will be bought for all 1000 districts. 100 provinces created. A new state house built. Minimum 3 deputy ministers per ministry. 100 miniseries will be created. A new and a bigger presidential 747 jet will be bought.


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