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Zambia to import over 100million litres of fuel

Zambia will import 101 million litres of fuel and an additional 95 million litres to cater for the period when Indeni Petroleum Refinery will shut down for routine maintenance in September this year.

Mines, Energy, and Water Development Minister Chris Yaluma said that the country would not experience any fuel shortage.

The minister said this when he delivered a ministerial statement to Parliament in Lusaka yesterday on the fuel supply situation in the country.

Meanwhile, Mr Yaluma has said the fuel donation to Malawi during the funeral of that country’s President, Bingu wa Mutrharika, did not have any negative bearing on fuel supplies in Zambia.

He said the donation of 1.9 million litres of diesel and 961, 400 litres of petrol was completed successfully and was meant to assist the Malawian government during the funeral.

United Party for National Development president Hakainde Hichilema recently insisted that the fuel shortage that Zambia faced a few weeks ago was as a result of the fuel donation to Malawi.

On the importation of the 101 million litre consignment, Mr Yaluma said 70 million litres would be diesel and 31million litres would be petrol while in the 95 million litres, 60 million would be diesel while 35 million litres would be petrol.

Other measures to cushion fuel shortages were the commissioning of storage depots in Lusaka and Mpika expected this year.

These would be followed by similar commissioning in Mongu, Solwezi, Choma, Mansa, Kapiri-Mposhi and Chipata next year.

The Government will also ensure that storage depots were constructed in the 10 provinces.

He said efforts were being made to expedite the engagement of new suppliers for both finished petroleum products and crude feedstock while supply contracts for finished products would be for one year and that for crude feedstock would be for two years.

On the recent fuel shortage, Mr Yaluma said this was mainly due to logistical challenges arising from changes in crude feedstock supplies.

He said the ship carrying the fuel was expected to dock in Dar-es-Salaam on May 1, this year but only arrived on May 15, this year.

The 15-day delay in the arrival of the commodity meant that all fuel excess stocks that had been stored were used to bridge the transition period.

In the long-term, he said Government was assessing immediate requirements for the refinery and pipeline with a view to improving their current performance.

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