Refinery requires US$40m upgrade
Lusaka – The 24 000 barrels-per-day Indeni Refinery in Zambia could require more than US$40 million for a planned rehabilitation, MD Maybin Noole has said. There are plans to upgrade the plant so that it produces international standard petroleum products. The refinery is in Ndola. During a recent tour of the 36-year-old plant by Energy Minister Chris Yaluma and his deputy Charles Zulu, Noole said efficiency had improved since Zambian management took over, but millions were now needed to upgrade the refinery. The improvements have been necessitated by the fact that several mines – the main consumers of Indeni’s products – no longer use the kind of diesel being refined there. The plant is failing to compete with imported fuels because it did not meet new gas-oil sulphur specifications. “This business shall require further investments in …. (a) diesel desulphurization and light gasoline isomarization plants,” Noole said. Minister Yaluma said the government would continue to monitor the petroleum industry and ensure the operating environment remained viable while consumers were not overcharged for commodities. Meanwhile, the Tanzania Zambia Mafuta Pipeline (TAZAMA) has raised storage capacity to effectively end fuel shortages in Zambia, according to company GM Patrick Musenyesa. TAZAMA, according to management, now has capacity to store 35.6 million litres of petrol and 59m litres of diesel. The government, however, remains concerned with the company’s indebtedness. TAZAMA’s debt is believed to be around US$54m.