TWO local business entities have partnered to establish a motor assembly plant at a cost of US$1.3 billion that will see the creation of more than 8,000 jobs.
And a representative of one of the entities has urged the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) to be proactive in its regulatory role and ensure that regulation does not divorce itself from business facilitation.
Roberto Sabbadin, president of the Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia (PTAZ), said at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Savenda Management Services and Savenda Africa Holdings Limited yesterday that the association was worried that a number of foreign trucks in Zambia dealing in the petroleum transportation sub-sector did not meet the minimum safety standards to move dangerous goods.
Mr Sabbadin wondered what role the ERB was playing in promoting safety in the sector. Savenda Group director, Clever Mpoha said at the same ceremony that his company and its partners had planned to establish a motor assembly plant for 4,000 trucks, representing $1.3 billion investment in addition to the assembly of Savenda Roller Packs (compactors).
Mr Mpoha said out of the 4,000 trucks, 700 had been committed to PTAZ. "This partnership collectively will create well over 8,000 jobs and we are established to manage this process very well because of the economic benefits," he said.
And Mr Sabbadin said the entities would bring 700 units of brand new petroleum tankers into Zambia which would help improve the standards in the sector and also help in the fight for increased market share. He said the investment would as a result create more than 4,000 jobs which would represent an investment of $300 million. "These tankers will help up the standards in the sector and help us in our fight for increased market share.
"This investment will create more than 4,000 jobs and will represent an investment of $300 million," he said. Mr Sabbadin said the entry of the trucks would enhance movement of petroleum products within the country and internationally. He called on the Government to deliberately provide special incentives for the special exercise, adding that "in the second place we want as an association to call upon ERB to be more proactive in their regulatory role and to ensure that regulation does not divorce itself from business facilitation. We believe as an association that ERB needs urgent reform."
Mr Sabbadin said the association was committed to helping Zambia's long-term vision by the year 2030.