THE Indeni Oil Refinary remains shut after the government halted annual maintenance due to financial challenges.
According to Energy Mix Report (EMR), a source with knowledge of the matter revealed on Monday that the maintenance work, which began on December 23, last year, was originally scheduled to last just one month.
The government wants to overhaul the ageing refinery and until that work is carried out, it will rely on short-term contracts with private oil companies for the supply of oil products, the source told EMR.
“The project is on hold until after the next budget slated for September and after the presidential elections,” the source said.
The refinery could now reopen close to the end of the year.
In 2018, Zambia short-listed five companies, including Glencore Energy and Sahara Energy Resources, to buy stakes in the refinery but has since been delayed while the pandemic further hampered talks.