Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Contamination halts Indeni operations

Contamination halts Indeni operations
By Abigail Chaponda in Ndola
Tue 05 Feb. 2013, 14:40 CAT

INDENI Oil Refinery has not been operating since Wednesday last week due to contamination at the petrol plant, sources have disclosed.

But energy permanent secretary George Zulu says it is impossible for the plant to be contaminated adding that the oil company decided to shutdown one petrol line because the catalyst was not performing well.

In an interview yesterday, sources said the shut down in October last year for regeneration of the reformer catalyst was mismanaged and has since caused the contamination in the plant.

In October last year, the oil company shutdown for 21 days for regeneration of the reformer catalyst.

"The problem that Indeni is having is management; there is too much mismanagement in that company. The shutting down of the plant on Wednesday would not have taken place. Top management decided to give a contract to their friends who in return give them kickbacks. The company ended up supplying Indeni with the wrong chemicals to mix in the reformer catalyst and the plant has been contaminated," said the source.

The source said Indeni needed a lot of money to clean the plant and that if government did not work on the contamination crisis at Indeni, the country will soon run out of petrol.

And Zulu confirmed that one petrol line was shutdown since Wednesday last week.

"It not true that the plant has been contaminated. The only problem that is there is, one petrol line has been shut down because it was faulty and it has to be completely replaced. Indeni has not been shut down. There are two experts from South Africa that are working on the petrol line and they are coming from other refineries. The petrol line is expected to be completed this weekend," he said.

Asked if shutting down one petrol line will not affect the public, Zulu said the government had enough petrol to last for 14 days.

He said the shutting down of one petrol line was not sudden and that the government had prepared adequately.

"If we did not plan well, then there was going to be a petrol crisis in the country, but we planned well and everything is under control," said Zulu.


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