OIL-rich Angola has undertaken to supply Zambia with sufficient stocks of refined petroleum products which will help stabilise local fuel prices.
According to Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma, who was recently in that country, said Angola was ready to supply fuel to Zambia on an annual basis.
In an interview in Ndola, the minister said the move followed the ongoing discussions between the two governments which commenced recently.
Mr Yaluma said imports of fuel from Angola would only start when the Zambian Government works out the pump price for refined petroleum products that were directly imported onto the local market.
“What Government is looking for is to stabilise fuel pump prices per drop and one way of doing this is to import refined petroleum products.
“Angola is among the options we are looking at right now. Zimbabwe has also proposed to supply ethanol, but all this can only be finalised when we have figured out the pump price per drop,” he said.
Currently, Zambia depends on crude oil imported from the Middle East to meet its daily consumption requirements of one million litres of petrol, two million litres of diesel and 80,000 litres of kerosene.
Oil imported from the Middle East is, however, co-mingled and has to go through a purification process at Indeni Petroleum Refinery in Ndola before being offloaded onto the local market.
For this reason, the Government is scouting for an equity partner with an investment of US$1.7billion to establish a modern refinery in Zambia, or upgrade the existing one at Indeni.
With a modern refinery in place, Zambia would have the capacity to refine all forms of crude oil, making it cheaper to source fuel in any form from neighbouring countries such as Angola and Zimbabwe.
Refined petroleum prices in Zambia are currently at K9.91 per litre for petrol, K9.20 per litre for diesel and K6.83 per litre for kerosene.