Heavily reliant on petroleum imports, Zambia has announced its intention to own a stake in the Lobito Refinery in Angola, with the two countries signing a cooperation deal in this respect.
Zambia’s Minister of Energy, H.E. Peter Chibwe Kapala, confirmed the signing of the deal, stating that it is part of efforts by Zambia to improve energy relations with countries in the SADC region to ensure energy security and affordability.
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The deal will open an “opportunity for Zambia to own a stake in the Lobito Refinery project, which will have a capacity of 200,000 barrels per day,” stated the Minister, adding that improved regional cooperation on energy will lead to, “…cheaper energy, which will ensure stability in our economy in the medium to long term. This opportunity will guarantee Zambia consistent access to the supply of petroleum on a preferential basis.”
The deal between Angola and Zambia follows Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas, H.E. Diamantino de Azevedo, announcing the country’s plans to strengthen its oil and gas refining capacity.
Zambia also continues to strengthen energy relations with its neighbouring countries following the signing of a $500 million power purchase agreement between Zambian state-utility, Zesco, and Namibian utility, NamPower, to increase total electricity exports to Namibia to 180 MW in early April.
Despite having vast energy resources, sub-Saharan Africa relies on energy imports, and as a result, struggles with high energy prices and chronic energy shortages. Increasing the number of energy refineries on the continent will enable countries to exploit domestic oil and gas resources to curb energy poverty among some 600 million people living without access to energy and 900 million without access to clean cooking.