FUEL TANKERS POSE EXPLOSION DANGER TO THE COMPANY
ZAMBIAN Breweries has temporarily closed its Mungwi Road Plant in Lusaka due to the danger posed to the public by the unprecedented number of fuel tankers parked outside its premises. Zambian Breweries managing director Annabelle Degroot issued the notice of shut down yesterday following the influx hundreds of fully loaded fuel tankers parked along the road leading to the brewery in the Heavy Industrial Area. Ms Degroot explained that there has been an increase in the number of tankers around the area which presented high risk of fire posing a threat to both life and property around the facility, hence the decision to shutdown. “Zambia Breweries has temporarily closed its Mungwi Road Plant in Lusaka for today due to the unprecedented number of fuel tankers parked on the road outside its premises, thereby posing a danger to life and
property,” she said. Most tankers parked along Mungwi Road were delivering feedstock to TAZAMA’s Lusaka depot fuel reserves housed on Buyantanshi road. Mungwi road is home to most of the oil marketing companies such as Total, PUMA and Caltex among others whose tankers had a long history of posing a hazard to the public as they parked outside the facilities. The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) public relations manager Ireen Chipili, however, explained that there was a long standing joint operations with the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) to look into the tanker situation around the area, but that there was no update on that. Ministry of Energy Permanent Secretary Emeldah Chola said the influx of tankers was caused by drivers who have refused to offload at the Lusaka TAZAMA depot for suspected faulty measuring apparatuses resulting in long queues at the point of delivery. Brig. Gen. Chola explained that the situation at TAZAMA had been going on for the last four days during which the drivers have refused to offload until something was done at the depot. She said her office was already in contact with the Zambia Weights and Measures Agency (ZWMA) to come and calibrate the measuring equipment at the depot to commence offloading, but that other tankers should be redirected to deliver their consignment to Ndola. “It is true we have a challenge with the situation at the TAZAMA depot because tankers have not been offloading for about four days now. The drivers have demanded that the measuring equipment be calibrated. “They have complained that the shortages were too much and were not real, so we have contacted ZMWA and they are expected to move in to calibrate the measurements at TAZAMA,” she said. She said her office had secured a safe location for 155 tankers to park while arrangements were being made for others to deliver their feed to the Ndola depot. She further explained that tanker drivers have been experiencing serious shortages when delivering feedstock at the Lusaka depot, and so the ministry demanded that measuring apparatuses be calibrated for assurance. She also assured members of the public that a solution was being sought and that as an immediate measure, some tankers would be sent to Ndola to reduce on the numbers.