FDD President Edith Nawakwi says the imported wrong crude oil smacks of corruption of the highest order and has far reaching economic consequences for the country.
Ms. Nawakwi said both President Edgar Lungu and Energy Minister Christopher Yaluma should be held responsible as the importation of oil is under the preserve of the Government.
” This smacks of the deepest scam where our people have put money in their pockets and left the country to be injured. In another country the Minister of Energy and all involved would have been fired by now that is why am saying that this should be led on the door step of the Minister of Defence (the President). He is aware of what has happened, they are shrouding it in ‘we are investigating’ what is there to investigate? All of us have the reports and we all know what is happening at indeni.
This is like going in a market and buying salaula. They actually went shopping for salaula crude. No one should hoodwink the Zambian people and say that the crude oil is faulty, faulty is the word you use on something which is not properly made so for anyone to use the word faulty is actually a confirmation that we bought salaula crude. Faulty products are usually auctioned as seconds.” Ms. Nawakwi said.
She challenged Government to tell the nation how the country ended up in this mess when there is a clearly spelled out procedure for procuring oil.
” We need to know the following; who issued the contract of supply and to who?
Certainly the onus is on the Minister of Energy because we have been told that the supply of feed stock is the preserve of the Government. President Lungu and his Cabinet should come out in the open and own up to this scam.
When loading there is an inspection, we need to know who inspected the cargo. The inspections will confirm the content of what you loaded. When the ship sails from Oman as in this case you expect it to be on the Indian Ocean and many thing s happen at sea, some times ships are swapped or cargo is swapped so when offloading you need your Inspector to inspect and confirm that what they loaded in Oman is what is has arrived at the point of discharge when that is done you can discharge otherwise you can reject the cargo if it is not what you loaded.
The inspector is fully aware of this process so we need answers, who are our inspectors who inspected the cargo because it should not even have been offloaded.”
She explained the specifications of the feed stock suitable for the Indeni refinery.
“The Zambian refinery can only refine spiked crude which is a mixture of refined heavy crude (refined crude oil) and light crude oil because our refinery is made in such a way that we predetermine how much Diesel we get, Petrol, Jet A1 fuel and other products we need to get so we have to make a cocktail, when you say spike it means a cocktail of heavy crude and light crude oil.
The specifications of this Italian built refinery was made so that you put crude oil which will give us certain products now if you don’t have that then we have a problem. The pipe line was tailored to transport spiked crude if you don’t have spiked crude the pipe line will corrode as it has happened because they brought scam, the worst leftover and in the leftovers you have alot of acid.”
She outlined the repercussions of importing dirty crude oil by the PF Government.
“The consequences of the actions by this Government are the following; Damage to motor vehicle engines by the users of these products in due course because the hydro cracker is not able to pick out all the acidity from the products that will come out of that crude oil. They will not be able to treat it fully and remove all the impurities.
The second problem is that they will not get enough products even if you were to refine the remaining 115000 metric tons which is not yet processed. We are bound to have shortages and more price hikes of diesel and patrol because they will be taking out more heavy fuel oil than products. They will have huge stocks of heavy fuel oil. Maybe be out of 115000 metric tons even 50,000 metric tonnes will be heavy fuel oil were are they going to store it because most users have migrated from heavy fuel oil to electric fired boilers.
You will also see planes begin to redirect to other countries for refueling because the the don’t want their engines to be damaged by contaminated Jet A1 fuel.
The third problem is that the hydro cracker is not able to take products which are contaminated. It will burn and you will find that Indeni has to shut down every week to prevent the hydro cracker from burning, even the pipes through which they are pumping this contaminated oil will begin to corrode so they have to continuously replace them or clean them. Ideally they should run uninterrupted for 3 months or 6 months if they have done pre-maintenance work.”
Ms. Nawakwi also noted that restarting the refinery is a big technical challenge which is costly and exposes the lives of engineers to grave danger.
“This country is exposing the young engineers to grave danger. You don’t start and stop the refinery every week. That process will cost Indeni K10million. It is never done anywhere in the world that every week you shut down and restart a refinery, it is technically impossible.”