ENERGY Minister says beyond March, 2022, it is anticipated that the price of crude oil would remain high, above US$100 per barrel, and would also be extremely volatile.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka, Peter Kapala said the trend is expected to continue, owing to the heightened levels of uncertainty arising from the Russia-Ukraine War.
Mr Kapala noted that in the first quarter of 2022, the world has experienced an unprecedented increase, and volatility in international oil prices, because the crude oil prices have averaged around US$97 per barrel in the first quarter of 2022, which is the highest experienced in the last seven years.
“By March, 2022, crude oil prices were trending at over US$100 per barrel, and during the same period, there has been a notable increase in prices of finished products,” he said.
“Specifically, petrol rose from an average of US$95 a barrel in January 2022 to US$120 a barrel by mid-March, while diesel rose from US$97 per barrel on average to US$118 a barrel.
During this period, petrol and diesel prices had reached an all-time high of US$150 per barrel and US$176 per barrel, respectively,”.
He said similar to prices of crude oil, such high prices of finished products in the world market were only observed seven years ago.
Mr Kapala explained that the increase in the prices of both crude and finished petroleum products caused by robust demand against strained supply following the geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine.
He added that the increase has also been reinforced by continued low production quotas from the Organization for the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its Allies (OPEC+).
“From our projections, world oil demand will continue to outstrip supply and therefore maintain relatively high prices in the short to medium term. Although the global picture looks gloomy, there have been spikes of hope as has been observed, where prices have gradually fallen, though slightly, in response to supply interventions from the United States of America and other countries that have oil reserves,” he stated.
Mr Kapala further said reverting to the sixty day pricing cycle or longer, would compromise the principle of cost reflectivity and promote a build-up of fuel arrears and consequently reintroduce subsidies to the sector.
He added that this would quickly threaten security of supply because importation of petroleum products would become unviable.
“Notwithstanding the adverse effects that the international oil prices have had on Zambia, the fuel supply situation remains stable and is above minimum required threshold,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, March 23rd,2022)
ACC nab senior accountant, businessman
A LUSAKA based senior accountant has been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) alongside a business man for possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Kasemuka Chiteta, a senior accountant stationed at police headquarters has since been charged with one count of possession of property suspected of being proceeds of crime.
ACC head of corporate communications Timothy Moono said in a statement that Kasemuka Chiteta on dates unknown but between 7th April, 2023 and 12th February 2024 in Lusaka District, concealed possession of a motor vehicle namely Toyota Landcruiser BAD4360 registered under the ownership of Chimuka Chibawe a Lusaka based businessman.
“In a similar development, the ACC has arrested and charged a Lusaka based businessman, Chimuka Chibawe of plot No. 136 C Kalomo road Chilenje” Mr Moono said.
He said Mr Chibawe has been charged with one count of Possession of Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime contrary to Section 71 (1) of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act No. 19 of 2010.
“Details of the offence are that, Chimuka Chibawe on dates unknown but between 7th April, 2023 and 12thFebruary 2024 in Lusaka, concealed possession of a motor vehicle namely Toyota Landcruiser BAD4360 registered under his names when the beneficial owner is Mr. Kasemuka Chiteta a Senior Accountant at Police Service Headquarters,” he said.
The pair has since been released on bond pending court appearance.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 29th February, 2024)
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Delta Mines acquires 51% stake in Mopani Copper Mines in $1.1 billion deal.
DELTA Mines Plc, has concluded the acquisition of 51% shareholding in Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) translating into a US$1.1 billion investment into the mine.
In a statement, ZCCM-IH Corporate Affairs Manager Loisa Mbatha said ZCCM-IH will retain 49% shares in Mopani, with 3 out of 9 board seats while Delta will have 5 and government one seat
She said the approval was made during a Shareholder’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held in Lusaka last week.
“ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH) shareholders have unanimously approved the Mopani Copper Mines Plc (Mapani) transaction where Delta Mining Limited (Delta), a subsidiary of International Resource Holdings (IRH), has agreed to acquire a 51% shareholding in Mopani for a total investment of up to US$1.1 billion,”she said.
ZCCM-IH Board Chairperson Kakenenwa Muyangwa said the transaction is a landmark achievement that delivers significant value to ZCCM-H, Mopani, and the Zambian people.
“It’s pleasing to note that IRH has committed to retain Zambian workers, including the management team, who will be complimented by new skills and expertise from Delta to facilitate the expansion of MCM production to 200, 000 tonnes per annum”, said Mr Muyangwa.
ZCCM-IH Board Director Phillippe Taussac who represents minority shareholders said that “the extinguishing of the Mopani $1.5billion debt that ZCCM-IH had guaranteed, will certainly lead to significantly improved financial performance for all ZCCM-H’s shareholders.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 27th February, 2024)