TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran plans to invest in an oil refinery in Zimbabwe to supply fuel to the southern Africa region, Tehran’s ambassador to Harare said Wednesday.
Zimbabwe has a disused oil refinery, built with Iranian help in the 1970s, which the government wants refurbished and revived.
The Feruka Oil Refinery, in the eastern city of Mutare, is connected by pipeline to the Mozambican port city of Beira where the bulk of Zimbabwe’s fuel imports are shipped through.
Iranian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Rasoul Momeni, said his country had held preliminary talks with the Harare government over the oil refinery, but did not give figures of how much it would cost his country.
“Today the politics of energy is the most fundamental issue in the international arena. Considering the ever escalating world oil prices, the refurbishment and operation of Feruka Oil Refinery has become of great significance,” he said.
“To date three technical teams have inspected the oil refinery and have presented the results of their studies to the Zimbabwean authorities,” he added.
Apart from processing crude for Zimbabwe, officials say Feruka Oil Refinery had the capacity to also supply regional countries, especially Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia.
The revival of the refinery would be a huge boost to Zimbabwe, which has suffered crippling fuel shortages for more than seven years due to lack of foreign currency.
Last December, the country opened a bio-diesel plant in the capital, Harare, built with South Korean help, to try and ease fuel shortages.