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A US$600mn oil refinery is to be established in Ndola on the Zambian Copperbelt under a public private partnership to augment the government’s efforts to find a long-term solution to high fuel prices and shortages
Bwana Mkubwa Oil Refinery, which will be situated at the Sub-Sahara Gemstone Exchange Industrial Park, is expected to refine about five million litres of fuel per month and will reduce the cost of fuel by about 30 per cent. According to Sub Sahara Gemstone Exchange Industrial Park president, Phesto Musonda, the oil refinery will also create business opportunities for firms that were awarded licenses to explore for oil in various parts of the country.
The Bwana Mkubwa Oil Refinery will soon submit a proposal to the government. The firm has been engaging with Indeni Oil Refinery and Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) on the project. The establishment of the refinery will take about five years and plans are afoot to bring Indeni on board as managers of the facility once it is completed. Apart from refining crude oil, the firm will produce gas, wax and fertilisers as by-products.
With the country registering massive investments in the mining, agriculture and tourism sectors, it is imperative that adequate and affordable fuel is available for the sectors to develop fully, said Musonda.
“Fuel plays a major role in any economy and reducing the cost will reduce the cost of doing business,” he said. “We want to go back to the days when fuel was affordable so that farmers can have diesel for their irrigation systems and fuel to easily transport farm produce to markets.”