GUNVOR, Zambia’s crude oil suppliers, risk losing its contract with Government after supplying contaminated crude feedstock for the second time.
It has been revealed by the Ministry of Energy that Gunvor supplied a cargo that docked on January 10, 2016, containing high levels of organic chlorides, similar to the cargo that the ministry received in June 2015 which saw Government losing over US$10 million.
In 2015, Gunvor was summoned by the Ministry of Energy and warned that should it supply contaminated crude feedstock again, Government would cancel the contract.
Energy permanent secretary Brig. Gen. Emeldah Chola said in a statement that a cargo was tested and the results showed that it contained high levels of organic chlorides.
Brig Gen Chola said Government was able to detect the contamination and as such the Ministry of Energy had not allowed the ship to offload the cargo.
She urged consumers and the general public at large not to panic, adding that all measures were being taken to ensure that no contaminated crude feedstock was received in the country.
“I further wish to assure the nation that we will not experience any shortages of fuel in the country because we have enough stocks to meet the demand.
‘‘In doing this we are working around the clock to ensure that Indeni continues to operate at normal production capacity using the commingled feedstock it has available in stock to meet the fuel demand of the country,” Brig Gen Chola said.
She said reports circulating of the contaminated crude feedstock having reached Zambia would have no bearing on the supply of fuel in the country.
Brig Gen Chola said the Ministry of Energy was confident that the measures that had been put in place would inhibit any attempts by any supplier to bring into the country contaminated commingled feedstock now and in the future.
She said in June 2015 various samples were picked from the refinery and sent to an independent laboratory in Dar es Salaam for further analysis which revealed the extent of the contamination.
Following the June contaminated crude feedstock, Gunvor South Africa was engaged as way of resolving the issue in an amicable manner and in ensuring that there was no reoccurrence of a similar activity in the future.
“One of the measures agreed upon going forward was the appointment of an independent inspector at the load port and the discharge port,” she said.
Gen Chola said during the shutdown of the refinery, Indeni conducted tests to assess the extent of the damage which the contaminated comingled feedstock had caused to the machinery.
“Kindly be informed that after the initial assessment, Gunvor SA has paid U$625,000 as part payment. However, after the refinery shutdown, another assessment was carried out and the extent of the damage was determined to be US$2.8 million,” she said.