FUEL prices will be increased as a result of hiked prices of the commodity on the international market following a drone attack on fuel storage facilities in Saudi Arabia. Minister of Energy Mathew Nkhuwa said that the fuel price hike will be implemented on the new stock of the commodity. Mr Nkhuwa said this yesterday after officially opening the ‘Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BFFA)’ private sector stakeholders meeting.
“I know about what has happened in Saudi Arabia, I mean, it’s most unfortunate but this is what happens in the world when things are not straight all the time. “The price [of fuel] will definitely go up but we have got old stocks, we are not going to increase the price of fuel on the old stocks,” Mr Nkhuwa said.
He was responding to journalists who asked what impact the recent drone attack on a fuel facility in Saudi Arabia will have on the cost of fuel in Zambia. On Saturday, drone attacks were reported on petroleum and gas processing plants in Khurais and Abqaiq, knocking down about 5.7 million barrels per day of total Saudi oil output.
And the minister has also said that energy tariffs are likely to double owing to various socio-economic impacts. “It [energy tariff] will double the amount [from the current 75 percent] because we are paying half the amount that we are supposed to pay,” he said. Mr Nkhuwa said Government will invest in other energy sources to reduce over dependency on imported crude oil.
“What we are looking at is bio fuels like diesel, ethanol and very soon, we will be accepting ethanol in Ndola at Indeni Petroleum Refinery so that we can have 10 percent of our own product and that way, we will be able to save the kwacha,” Mr Nkhuwa said. And earlier when opening the workshop, the minister said the meeting is timely especially that delegates are developing a fund to promote an energy mix in-serviced areas. “Zambia needs diverse solutions to meet its energy needs,” he said. Mr Nkhuwa is impressed that BFFA- Zambia has connected over 144,000 households to offgrid electricity in two years.
BGFA was setup to incentivise the emergency of new private sector business models offering affordable and clean energy access to people living in rural and peri-urban areas in Africa. “There is US$20million available for the second round of the BGFA for Zambia,” he said. And Swedish Embassy head of development co-operation Karin Sverken said BFFA programmes are in line with the Sustainable Development Goal(SDG) number seven on provision of affordable and clean energy.