THE Angolan government has offered to partner with Zambia over the refinery that it intends to build in Lobito, says energy minister Peter Kapala.
In an interview, Kapala revealed that most of the earthworks on the Lobito project are complete.
“I visited the site in Lobito. They have done most of the earthworks and what is just remaining is to build the plant and the pipeline to come to Zambia. It will be gas and petroleum products,” Kapala said.
Kapala said he will also be going to Namibia to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for another gas pipeline which will come from Namibia into Zambia.
He said in order to mitigate deforestation, another MoU is currently being considered for a gas pipeline from Dar-es-Salaam into Zambia.
Kapala said Zambia’s aim is to use the pipelines, especially one that will come from Tanzania, to build a gas power station in either Mpika or Chinsali in the northern part of the country.
“We are yet to decide and some of the gas will then come to Lusaka and the Copperbelt so that we reduce on the deforestation,” Kapala said.
“You know that every day because of the challenges of electricity, people are using more charcoal than electricity. So, we want to bring in a product that will be easily accessed, clean and cheaper than using charcoal.”
And Kapala said a team of Zambian experts is scheduled to travel to Angola to meet their counterparts to work out the modalities of bringing petroleum products into Zambia.
“There is a team that was supposed to have left for Angola tomorrow (Sunday) but the trip has been postponed to the other week. This is a team of experts going out to sit with the Angolan government; meaning the experts on the other side so that they can calculate and work out the modalities of bringing petroleum products from Angola into Zambia,” said Kapala. “Mind you, Angola hasn’t got the capacity right now to supply Zambia with finished products, that is petrol, diesel, Jet A-1 and kerosene, so they might buy on our behalf and still use Tanzania, which is Dar-es-Salaam or use Mozambique Beira ports to bring it here. So once we agree, Angola is a member of OPEC so we might get some slight rebate on that.”