5 February 2013

Zambia: Indeni Shuts Down Amid Corruption Reports

Indeni, Zambia's only oil refinery plant in Ndola was shut down for the past week owing to contamination at the Petro Plant.

But The Post newspaper is quoting ministry of Energy permanent secretary George Zulu in its edition today saying it was impossible for the plant to be contaminated.

Zulu says the refinery chose to shut down the petro line because the catalyst was not performing well.

However sources say poor management is impeding quality production delivery of Oil products at Indeni.

Commenting on the persistence shut down of the plant and the consequences regarding fuel shortages, the source said Indeni's recent shut down could have been avoided.

"The problem that Indeni is having right now is management. There is too much mismanagement in that company and the shut down last Wednesday would not have taken place.

But top management decided to award contracts to their friends who in turn give them kickbacks," sources said.

The sources said the company that was contracted to supply reformer catalyst supplied wrong chemicals.

"The company supplied Indeni with wrong chemicals to mix in the reformer catalysts and this has contaminated the system. If the government does not react quick enough to avert a crisis, the country will soon run out of petro," sources said.

Government however says two South African experts had been engaged to work on the faulty petro line and that operations would resume this weekend.

The Energy permanent secretary also said the country still has petro reserves enough to last 14 days and assured consumers that backup plans were in place to avoid any possible fuel shortage.

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