VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT and the supplier of crude oil Gunvor SA have agreed to test all crude feedstock consignments before loading the cargo on ships and before offloading in Dar es Salaam.
This is in the wake of recent supply of faulty oil which damaged machinery at Indeni Petroleum Refinery in Ndola.
Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development permanent secretary Brigadier General Emelda Chola said this in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday.
Brig Gen Chola said the decision is aimed at averting a similar occurrence in future.
She said Government has also resolved that Gunvor SA will not offload the crude oil once it is established that it is contaminated and that the replacement will be at the supplierâ€™s expense.
â€œWith regard to the effects on the fleet vehicle, I wish to assure the nation that the chemicals in the crude [oil] are washed out during the refining process and do not remain in the refined products,â€ Brig Gen Chola said.
She said before products are sold to the market, the refinery issues quality certificates which indicate that products such as petrol, diesel and kerosene meet the specifications as set by the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS).
â€œWith the resolution of this matter, all parties will now work to normalise operations at the refinery and will ensure fuel supply security to the nation,â€ she said.
Brig Gen Chola also said Gunvor SA will support Indeni Refinery to clean the contaminated material and repair the damaged equipment.
She said Gunvor SA experts will work on the refinery to assess the remedial action required.
In June this year, Indeni Petroleum Refinery experienced a high level of acidity in the crude feedstock which caused a shutdown of the refinery for seven days as the condition led to corrosion of the equipment and pipes.
This prompted an investigation into the possible cause of such a development.
Brig Gen Chola said the results from Intertek, the company which investigated and tested the crude revealed the presence of high levels of organic chlorides in the crude feedstock.
She said Government summoned the supplier to explain the presence of the â€˜unwantedâ€™ organic chlorides in the crude oil feedstock.
â€œGovernment met the supplier of crude oil, Gunvor, on August 5, 2015 where the supplier accepted the findings of the investigations from Intertek which revealed that the crude supplied had high levels of organic chlorides,â€ Brig Gen Chola said.
VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka