Iran plans to invest in oil refinery in Zimbabwe

Feb 28, 2008 01:00 AM

Iranian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Rasoul Momeni said his country planned to invest in the Feruka Oil Refinery to bring it back on stream, after decades of laying idle.
He said three Iranian technical teams had evaluated the plant, and submitted their findings to the Government. He said the two governments were currently negotiating legal and other issues before Iran invests in the oil processing facility, which is in the eastern city of Mutare and is connected by pipeline to the Mozambican port city of Beira from where most of Zimbabwe's fuel supplies are pumped through.

"Today the politics of energy is the most fundamental issue in the international arena. Fortunately our two countries' attention is focused on this important factor. The policies of the Government of Zimbabwe in attaining self-sufficiency in this field is a foresighted policy," he said.
"Considering the ever escalating world oil prices, the refurbishment and operation of Feruka Oil Refinery has become of great significance. Iran has technical capabilities, specialised machinery and experts in all the relevant fields of oil and energy sector," Momemi said.

He expressed hope negotiations between the two countries over the plant will be concluded soon to allow Iran, which has some of the world's biggest oil reserves, to invest in the refinery.
"Some of the discussions pertaining to the legal issues and substance are under progress. We hope both sides will soon reach a mutual agreement," he said.

Fuel security is top priority issue for the Government. Late last year, a bio-fuel plant was commissioned in Harare to produce diesel, and substitute imports as much as possible. In addition to the Feruka Oil Refinery, Momeni said his country was also keen to invest in other economic areas, especially agriculture. He said Iran had set aside $ 4 mm in aid for the establishment of a tractor assembly plant in Zimbabwe, based on Iranian technology.
"The potential of Zimbabwe in the field of agriculture has placed this country in a very distinguished position in the whole of Africa. During the course of the past year we witnessed the implementation of two agricultural mechanisation projects," he said.

Source / The Herald
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