THE owners of Gunvor, the crude oil supplier have arrived in the country in readiness for a meeting with a ministerial committee tomorrow.
Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development permanent secretary Emelda Chola told Daily Nation yesterday that the meeting which was supposed to be held on Saturday had been postponed to Tuesday, August 4, 2015.
“Owners of Gunvor did communicate with us that they could not make it on Saturday and proposed that they come on August 4, 2015,” Ms Chola said.
She said the meeting would be chaired by Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma, adding that the outcome of the meeting would be communicated.
Last week, Government summoned owners of Gunvor to appear before a ministerial committee to explain the delivery of contaminated commingled feedstock which has left Indeni Oil Refinery in Ndola partially shut-down.
Ms Chola said Government was concerned about the crisis at Indeni caused by the contaminated commingled feedstock supplied by the Swiss oil marketing company.
And Ms Chola said Indeni Oil Refinery has opened one of its two lines which supplies petroleum.
“That line which was closed was opened yesterday and I can confirm that the supply is back to normal now,” she said.
Ms Chola said one line had been closed in order to clean the circuit system, adding that there were a lot of chemicals used to purify petroleum hence the need for cleaning. She explained that because of contaminated crude oil, the oil company was using a lot of different chemicals to purify the feedstock. Ms Chola said although one line was closed, Government had put in place stringent measures to ensure that crude oil supply was enough in the country.
“We have been getting crude oil despite the closure of one line… so the supply of crude oil is very normal at the moment,” she said.
And when asked how much Government had spent so far on chemicals used to purify contaminated oil, Ms Chola said it was too early to give an update after the K10 million which was disclosed last week.
Gen. Chola said Gunvor entered into a contract with Government to supply the country with commingled feedstock in 2012 and renewed it last year in October, up to next year.