KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka
SUB-SAHARAN Africa needs to increase refinery capacity and other support infrastructure to accelerate intra-Africa fuel trade and reduce the cost of importing the commodity, an energy expert says.
Johnstone Chikwanda, who is also Energy Forum Zambia chairperson, said the region needs to expand refinery and storage, invest in rail and pipelines to cut down on high importation cost of fuel outside the region.
Mr Chikwanda said in a presentation made on Tuesday at the ongoing World Petroleum Congress under the theme “Bridges to our energy future” in Istanbul, Turkey.
He said some African countries produce crude oil, which they export and later import as refined fuel at a high cost.
According to statistics, Africa produces about 8.4 million barrels of crude oil per day with only two million barrels estimated to be refined on a daily basis resulting in the continent being a net importer.
“Africa as a whole requires more than one million barrels per day in added capacity. In sub-Saharan Africa, the situation is even worse because most of the refinery capacity is located in North Africa.
“Only three countries [Zambia, South Africa and Angola] have refineries in the Southern African Development Community region, which are also not adequate to even sustain their own countries,” Mr Chikwanda said.