GOVERNMENT says the production of fuel at Indeni Petroleum Refinery in Ndola will come to full capacity over the next four days.
Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma says Government has devised interim measures to sustain fuel supply and end the petrol shortage experienced in some parts of the country, over the past few days.
Indeni is currently being fed with crude stocks by the 12-inch pipeline while the shut down eight-inch pipeline is being repaired.
Mr Yaluma said at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that finished petroleum products are currently being transported into the country and that another consignment of crude stock is soon scheduled to arrive in Tanzania to beef up the current stocks.
He said Tazama has sufficient fuel stocks for distribution to all parts of the country and that delays by Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to transport fuel to various destinations are what is causing temporary shortages in some parts of the country.
The minister said Government will however, ask OMCs other than those specifically assigned to respective towns, to help distribute fuel countrywide to avoid any further shortage.
Mr Yaluma said the Tazama pipelines are old and easily develop leakages, causing disruptions in the pumping of crude stocks.
And Mr Yaluma said Government is expected to appraise the cost implications of the repairs of the pipeline in about two days.
He said it is unfortunate that some political leaders are attempting to gain mileage out of the fuel shortage.
Mr Yaluma said it is not government’s fault that the country is experiencing a fuel shortage because the bursting of the oil pipeline was anticipated and could not be rectified in the past.
“Fuel will be available and we want the Zambian people to understand that. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused to Zambians and all the people using petroleum products, which were in short supply,” he said.