Friday, January 02, 2009
By Times Reporter
CONSTRUCTION of the 40 million-litre strategic fuel storage facility in Ndola is expected to be completed in February next year, Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (Tazama) pipelines managing director, Largman Muzelenga, has disclosed.
The 40 million-litre facility will be able to hold fuel stocks to last Zambia at least one month.
Mr Muzelenga said in an interview from Ndola yesterday that construction works were progressing well and the facility would be ready in the next two months.
He said the completion of the storage facility would help address the lack of storage capacity that the country was facing.
He said if funds would be available, Tazama pipelines would embark on the construction another storage fuel facility for strategic reserves and to ensure that refining at Indeni was not disrupted on account of limited storage capacity.
“The works on the tank were suspended because we could not agree with the financiers on the terms and conditions but we are happy that a contractor is already on site following the release of funds,” he said.
In May this year, the Government gave Tazama pipelines a loan of US$2.2 million to complete work on a 40 million-litre strategic fuel storage facility, whose work was abandoned due to lack of funds.
Former secretary to the treasury, Evans Chibiliti, who toured the facility, said Tazama pipelines was also scouting for $13 million to put up another tank which would be used to keep strategic fuel reserves for the country.
Meanwhile, Tazama will only apply for a fuel export permit from the Energy Regulation Board after establishing that the market has enough fuel to avoid any shortages in the country.
Currently, Tazama is stuck with 37,000 tonnes of fuel, which the oil marketing companies (OMCs) had not been lifting for months now after they imported surplus stocks of refined fuel.
Mr Muzelenga said Tazama was monitoring the situation to see if OMCs would start picking fuel from its terminal and if the situation did not improve, the company would consider applying for an export permit.