State counsels oil firms over fuel reserves

south on lumumba, Mungwi Road
south on lumumba, Mungwi Road

GOVERNMENT has urged oil marketing companies to suspend the distribution of fuel at their strategic storage facilities on Mungwi Road because the depots are meant for contingency purposes only.
Government has also directed oil marketing companies to remove fuel tankers parked along Mungwi road and find an alternative staging area for them.
Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma said oil marketing companies are not supposed to distribute fuel at these strategic storage facilities but use them for contingency and storage purposes.
Mr Yaluma said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that, it had came to Government’s  attention that fuel tankers belonging to Trafigura were instead distributing fuel at their strategic storage facilities posing a risk to the surrounding industries and motorists.
“These strategic depots are not meant for distribution but for storage only to cater for contingencies. I will discuss this with Tazama the way I discussed with the Energy Regulation Board on the matter.” he said.
He warned that Government would suspend the drawing of fuel from the Mungwi Road depot if OMCs failed to comply with the directive because this would endanger people’s lives.
Government has in addition, given a one month deadline to OMCs to find an alternative staging area for fuel tankers instead of parking them along the road failure to which, action would be taken again them.
Recently, Zambian Breweries corporate affairs director Luke Njovu said the company was greatly concerned at the grave risks posed by fuel tankers which had parked along Mungwi Road for months.
Apart from causing traffic congestion in the area, there have been occasions when this has resulted in road traffic accidents.
More than 20 fuel tankers have been parked along Mungwi Road for months thereby, causing concerns not only to motorists but also to nearby industries such as Tombwe Processing, Zamleather Limited, Good Time Steel, Capital Fisheries, Afil Engineering and Varun Beverages Zambia Limited.