Zambia’s sole 24,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery, which was shut down for maintenance Oct. 15 after it developed a fault, will resume production on Friday, energy minister, Kenneth Konga said yesterday.
‘The maintenance works are going as scheduled and Indeni refinery will be back in production on Friday,’ Konga told Reuters in an interview.
Indeni Petroleum Refinery has suffered sudden breakdowns of old machinery at the 36-year-old plant.
Owing to the collapse of a key component at Indeni, Zambia has in the last two weeks been experiencing acute shortages of both diesel and petrol, threatening to bring the economy of Africa’s largest copper producer to its knees.
Indeni is 50 percent each jointly owned by Total El Fina EIF and the Zambian government and latest market estimates indicate that the refinery needs $65 million for recapitalisation.
‘Negotiations for the government’s purchase of the 50 percent stake owned by Total in the refinery are progressing well and we should conclude everything this month,’ Konga said.
Total last year told Zambia it intended to sell its stake to another company but authorities in the southern African country objected and opted to take on full ownership