NKOLE MULAMBIA, Ndola
INDENI Petroleum Refinery needs US$300 million to modify the plant to enable it process pure crude oil, company managing director Maybin Noole has said.
Indeni has since prepared a three-step plan which will be submitted to Government in the next two months for approval.
Mr Noole was speaking when Deputy Minister of Finance Christopher Mvunga visited Indeni and Tazama pipeline in Ndola recently.
â€œThe problem is that we are using comingled oil. As a business, going forward in 2016, we are telling the shareholders that we move away from using comingled oil to processing pure crude, which is cheaper,â€ he said.
â€œWe have a three-step solution that we will be presenting to the board of directors, so we are re-submitting the document through our line ministry and pushing by June or July for the document to be with the board of directors. We are putting it at US$300 million to fully operate,â€ he said.
He, however, said of the three-step solution, Indeni needs to acquire a hydro-cracker, which will be used to process crude petroleum oil.
â€œIf we have the hydro-cracker, we will definitely bring down the prices of fuel. It will be something that the common man will benefit from once it is installed,â€ he said.
He said the first step is for cleaner fuel by building a hydro-treater, second is for the refinery to start processing pure crude while the third one is to invest in the development of a new refinery, which is two-and-half times bigger than the current one.
â€œWe are emphasising on the second step solution to be able to use pure crude to become more efficient. We need a hydro-cracker…This is a solution that can improve production. This thing has been running for the last 44 years. It will lower the prices and employ 300 people,â€ he said.
Mr Noole also said the market has outstripped demand and there is a strong business case to upgrade the refinery to reach 2030.
And Indeni will in the next two months declare the first-ever divided to Government after several years of operations, Mr Noole revealed, adding that the company has been making profit since 2009, hence the firmâ€™s plans to give something to the shareholders.
And Mr Mvunga said the case of indeni is well heard.
Indeni cannot refine crude oil because it was designed to process a comingled product, which is a mixture of pure diesel and crude oil.
NKOLE MULAMBIA, Ndola