May 23, 2012

Zambia Reopens Bitumen Plant

THE government says the reopening of the bitumen production plant at Indeni Refinery in Ndola will help reduce the cost of road construction in the country.

Indeni used to produce bitumen as a by-product of crude oil processing but the plant was closed down after the machinery and equipment became obsolete.

In an interview yesterday, energy permanent secretary George Zulu said the government was spending US$20 million to refurbish the plant whose commissioning is set for this October.

"It will have a capacity of 400 tonnes per day and this will be sufficient for local requirements and we shall be able to export some quantities. We are happy because the reopening of the plant will help reduce the cost of road construction since bitumen is a major component," said Zulu.

"The bitumen plant will have drum filling facilities and now the residue of crude oil will be put to good use as compared to the current situation where everything is lost after refining crude oil."

Last week, Sable Transport and Contractors managing director Iqbal Alloo observed that non-availability of bitumen and heavy rainfall in some parts of the country affected progress on most road works being undertaken by the company.

by Kabanda Chulu
Source - Zambianews 

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