LUSAKA, May 8 - Energy consultant Romance Sampa has advised government to explore alternative sources of petroleum to ensure security of the commodity's supply.
In a sectoral presentation at the energy conference on Wednesday, Sampa said Zambia had for a long time been dependent on one region the whole world over for petroleum supplies, a situation which did not ensure security of supply.
"If there was a more serious problem in the Middle East, supply for the country would be endangered," he said.
Sampa said the country should look for alternative sources such as Angola or Gabon.
"We are nearer to Angola and Gabon. If we are to procure petroleum from there, we would even reduce on the transportation costs," he said.
He said Zambia should also consider the proposed Nacala corridor route as an alternative route for channelling fuel into the country.
He also suggested that the infrastructure at Tanzania Zambia oil pipeline and Indeni Oil Refinery should be refurbished, as it was old.
"The infrastructure is over 30 years old and needs attention," he said.
And Sampa said an unfortunate situation had arisen in Zambia where the consumption of coal had declined.
He said government should address the issue concerning the use of coal, an indigenous fuel with vast availability.
He said coal deposits in Zambia were estimated to be 30 million tonnes.
He said government should promote the use of coal as a household energy to replace charcoal, in the interest of environmental conservation.
"A number of pilot projects have been done but no large scale impact has been made. We have to find out why," he said.
Sampa said government should intensify the promotion of coal exploration, which had also not registered much success.
He said it was good to note that so far two companies, Collum Coal and Zambezi Gas, had engaged in coal exploration.