By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
ZAMBIA and Angola have penned a US$5 billion deal to build a pipeline to transport finished petroleum products from the oil-rich country.
Once completed, the multi product petroleum pipeline will transport petrol, diesel, kerosene and gas, says Zambia’s ambassador to Angola, Lawrence Chalungumana.
Mr Chalungumana explained that the pipeline project would cost about US$5 billion and two state companies would be strategic equity partners, SONANGOL from Angola and Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of Zambia.
He said the pipeline would be used to transport finished petroleum products from Angola to Zambia.
He said the milestone agreement to jumpstart the project was signed in the Angolan capital Luanda on Thursday, bringing to an end a more than 10-year complex negotiation process that would lead to cheaper fuel for Zambia.
The Zambian government was represented by Energy Minister, Mathew Nkhuwa while Angola was represented by Diamantino Pedro Azevedo in the signing of the deal.
“The facts of the agreement in a nutshell are that the petroleum pipeline will be developed by the private sector with state-owned petroleum Angolan company SANANGOL and the IDC being strategic equity partners.
“The process involved complex negotiations for over 10 years and the deal is a legacy project given that the last pipeline was built in 1969 by KK’s government between Zambia and Tanzania,” Mr Chalungumana said in a statement.
He said Mr Nkhuwa hailed the occasion as a major milestone towards establishing a framework for the construction of the petroleum pipeline by the private sector.