Zambia has increased imports of finished petroleum products to prevent a fuel shortage as its only oil refinery is expected to persistently break down, its energy minister said on Tuesday.
Zambia's 24,000 barrel-per-day Indeni refinery was shut on July 14 after it was fed highly acidic crude which caused damage to some parts of the plant.
Energy minister Christopher Yaluma told parliament that shut downs of the refinery would make it difficult for it to produce the required amounts of fuel to meet Zambia's requirements.
"We will have continued shut downs arising from this feedstock," Yaluma said referring to the corrosive crude.
"In order to prevent possible fuel shortages we have increased on importation of finished products so as to meet the national demand."
Indeni would continue processing the acidic crude while using chemicals to shield the pipes and processing equipment from further corrosion, he said.