THE Zambia Angola Oil Pipeline (AZOP) project is a private sector initiative and does not involve President Edgar Lungu in anyway.
Promoters of the project Basai Ba Liseli Resources (BBLR)denied in Lusaka yesterday allegations that President Lungu was involved in the constructing an oil pipeline from Lobito Bay in Angola to Lusaka.
Basali Ba Liseli Resources executive director Wamulume Kalaba explained the deal was purely a private sector driven initiative but one which required the support of both Governments due to its stratagic nature.
Mr Wamulume said this when he trashed the Post newspaper story alleging that President Lungu was involved in the oil deal under the headline “Lungu,Santo’s strike Oil Deal.”
He said the estimated total investment for the project was US$5 billion.
Mr Kalaba said no business project of such nature and magnitude involving two sovereign states could proceed without the blessing and explicit support of the two governements.
He said the Zambia Angola pipeline in Zambia and the Gulf Pacific were two different companies pursuing different projects in Zambia.
“It is common knowledge that the Government of Angola is constructing an oil refinery in Lobito and has invited a number of Governments in the region,including Zambia to acquire shares in the refinery,” he said.
He said that the company was ware that the Zambian Government had expressed interest but it was also encouraging the private sector including Angola to acquire equity in the Angolan refinery.
“It is our interest as a country and also BBLR to aquire equity in the Lobito refinery to ensure sustainability of affordable petroleum supplies into Zambia,” he said.
Mr Kalaba explained that once commissioned in 2019, the pipeline would be able to deliver 100,000 barrels per day of refinery petroleum products into Zambia ensuring sustainable and efficient supply of the vital commodity.
He also said the model that was being followed would eliminate the need for middlemen and shipping costs, thus significantly lowering the cost of fuel pump prices.
He said the refinery would provide products and as well as gas.