Sasol denies eying Indeni

i the world’s largest fuel from coal producer, has said it knows nothing about a proposed bid for a majority stake in Zambia’s state-owned Indeni Petroleum Refinery.Media reports this week said Sasol was among the foreign companies vying for the stake with India’s Essar Group is said to be a competing bidder.

But Sasol has denied this saying it was not aware of the bid for Indeni, one of the few inland refineries in Africa.According to the Wall Street Journal, Indian website livemint.com and Zambian independent newspaper The Post earlier this week, Esaar wanted to use the refinery to supply petroleum products to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia and even East Angola.

“The Zambian government has to take a decision whether they want to divest the refinery along with the 1 300km Tazama pipeline that brings crude from Dar es Salaam port in Tanzania,” The Post quoted an unnamed source as saying.Zambia’s government last year became the 100 percent owner of the Indeni Petroleum Refinery after French Oil giant Total Fina Elf dumped its 50 percent shareholding.

The Zambian newspaper said that the firm that wins the bid for the refinery would have to invest around US$100 million for refurbishing and augmenting refining capacity as its current configuration allows separation of only diesel and liquefied petroleum gas. Zambia’s government is expected to take a decision on the stake sale by March this year. Sasol the world’s largest fuel from coal producer, has said it knows nothing about a proposed bid for a majority stake in Zambia’s state-owned Indeni Petroleum Refinery.Media reports this week said Sasol was among the foreign companies vying for the stake with India’s Essar Group is said to be a competing bidder.

But Sasol has denied this saying it was not aware of the bid for Indeni, one of the few inland refineries in Africa.According to the Wall Street Journal, Indian website livemint.com and Zambian independent newspaper The Post earlier this week, Esaar wanted to use the refinery to supply petroleum products to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia and even East Angola.

“The Zambian government has to take a decision whether they want to divest the refinery along with the 1 300km Tazama pipeline that brings crude from Dar es Salaam port in Tanzania,” The Post quoted an unnamed source as saying.Zambia’s government last year became the 100 percent owner of the Indeni Petroleum Refinery after French Oil giant Total Fina Elf dumped its 50 percent shareholding.

The Zambian newspaper said that the firm that wins the bid for the refinery would have to invest around US$100 million for refurbishing and augmenting refining capacity as its current configuration allows separation of only diesel and liquefied petroleum gas. Zambia’s government is expected to take a decision on the stake sale by March this year.

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