New deal to erase Zambia’s oil-import nightmares

 9 October - Zambian government is expected to sign a financing deal that could end its oil import nightmares for next two years.

Times of Zambia quoted permanent secretary for energy, Mr Peter Mumba confirming that government and Pan-African PTA Bank have finalised negotiations to finance US$400 million oil procurement deal for next two years.

The deal comes after two unsuccessful tries and turn-downs by South African unit of Stanbic group and another by Netherlands’ Rabobank.

Local media said Mr Mumba confirmed that his department had submitted details of deal to ministry of finance and national planning, for perusal and final blessing, also signalling a positive nod that government and PTA Bank were likely to sign next week.

“We have finally concluded the deal and what is remaining is the signing part which is likely to be done next week. Come rain, come sunshine we are signing next week so that we can concentrate on other developmental programmes,” Times of Zambia quoted Mr Mumba.

Mr Mumba also said government was happy that, after holding only three meetings, two parties had concluded deal.

Ministry of Energy and Water Development is said to have been given a go ahead by Zambia National Tender Board to commence negotiations with PTA Bank after earlier talks with prospective financiers had collapsed.

Mr Mumba also told media that ship carrying 90,000 tonnes of crude which docked at weekend in Dar es Salaam would only be offloaded after rehabilitation of Indeni Refinery is completed, but however said delay in offloading of crude would not in any way affect flow of fuel as country still had enough stocks.

He said crude would remain in Dar es Salaam until rehabilitation at the refinery is completed and the Government was confident the works would be over within the stipulated time frame.

Mr Mumba also said PTA Bank was preparing a fresh letter of credit to finance another import of 90,000 tonnes of crude due to arrive in Dar-es-Salaam next month.

Apart from agriculture and daily use, Zambia’s copper mines consume huge amounts of diesel. Reports show that the country has had no financier for its oil procurement since July last year, with government having to depend on short-term commercial deals or oil marketing companies who import finished petroleum products.

By staff writer

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