GOVERNMENT has began short-listing Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) that will be selected to provide fuel for the 25 million cubic-litre Lusaka reserve tanks in readiness for commissioning.
Mines, Energy and Water Development Permanent Secretary, George Zulu said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the process to import finished petroleum products to fill up the fuel tanks in readiness for commissioning had commenced.
He said the ministry was eager to see the 25 million-litre Lusaka fuel reserve tanks commissioned as this would reduce transportation costs.
"We are waiting to fill up these tanks before they are officially commissioned and we have started the process to select OMCs to import the fuel for the reserve tanks.
"Once the Lusaka tanks are commissioned, it would reduce the distance that OMCs cover to procure oil from Indeni in Ndola especially those supplying Eastern and Southern Provinces. This will also cut down on the transportation costs that Government pays for the fuel to reach remote areas," Mr Zulu said.
He said 80 per cent of construction work had been completed at the Mpika fuel reserve tank.
Mr Zulu said once the Mpika fuel reserve tanks were completed, Government would begin the construction of similar facilities in Solwezi and Mongu and other remaining provinces.
Meanwhile, Mr Zulu said construction of the bituminous plant in Ndola was near completion and was expected to start operating by June this year.
Mr Zulu said the plant would help contribute to the construction of roads such as the Link Zambia 8000 project.
He said the ministry was currently in consultation with the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication to encourage construction firms to start placing orders to buy the bitumen from the plant in Ndola.