By Wallen Simwaka in Jeddah Saudi Arabia
ENERGY Minister Dora Siliya said Saudi Arabia has become a strategic partner to Zambia’s ambitions of building the country’s sufficient fuel reserves across the country.
Ms Siliya told journalists that Zambia had embarked on a programme to build a 500 million capacity fuel reserve and that Saudi Arabia could be a strategic partner in making the country secure adequate petroleum products.
She said with the global fall in fuel prices which were currently standing at US$50 per barrel, Zambia could build her fuel stocks which would make the country fuel secure.
She said through the Saudi Development Fund, Zambia could be sourcing petroleum products from the Kingdom at the rate US$7.20 and US$7.10 per barrel for petrol and diesel respectively through a Government to Government concession.
“We have been planning for immediate, medium and long-term on ensuring that there are sufficient stocks of fuel in the country. We should not have the monopoly of the supply of fuel from other countries and Saudi Arabia can be a strategic partner.
“The US$20 million through the Saudi Development Fund is a revolving fund and payment would only start after 5 months. This is a five year investment plan and if we do better, the facility can be expanded,” said Ms Siliya.