Sabotaged Indeni Refinery is limping. It is now only producing diesel after its partial shutdown, as investigations into the contaminated feedstock intensify.
But feed stock suppliers Gunvor Group of Cyprus have denied ever supplying Zambia with contaminated oil.
Responding to a Press query from the Daily Nation, Gunvor corporate affairs director Seth Thomas Pietras said all crude oil delivered by Gunvor was always within the specifications of the contract, which commenced in late 2012.
“I have looked into this matter, and can state that all crude oil delivered by Gunvor has always been within the specifications of the contract, which commenced in late 2012. Certificates of quality issued from independent inspectors have shown this,” Mr Pietras said.
He however said that, Gunvor took such matters seriously, adding that the firm was committed to its partnership with Zambia.
“…and we are reviewing the situation so any misunderstanding or issue is promptly resolved,” Mr Pietras said.
He further dismissed assertions suggesting that Gunvor was a Russian firm.
“Some parties appear to be spreading misinformation about this situation. They are even claiming Gunvor is Russian, which it is not. Gunvor is registered in Cyprus and our main trading office is in Geneva, Switzerland. Our majority owner is Swedish,” Mr Pietras said.
Indeni Petroleum Refinery managing director Maybin Noole said in Ndola yesterday that the company closed one of its lines in order to clean the exchange system in the circuit.
“We have closed the petrol production line. We are cleaning our exchange system in the circuit but for diesel everything is normal,” Mr Noole said.
He said the closure would only last for one week, adding that it would be open today in the morning following its closure yesterday.
And Energy permanent secretary Emelda Chola confirmed that Indeni had closed one of its lines and only the diesel line was operational.
In an interview, Ms Chola dispelled assertions suggesting that the entire plant had been shut, adding that the diesel line had been spared.
“They have two lines at Indeni and only one has been closed down,” Ms Chola said.