The History of Oil Companies in Zambia

Traditionally, Zambia has not been associated with the production or refinement of crude oil. In fact, oil has been discovered in Zambia fairly recently. This is why it meets its oil and energy-related needs through imports. It is very heavily dependent on various OMCs (oil marketing companies) to drive the nation onwards. These companies are directly responsible for not only supplying various grades of high quality petrol (gasoline) and fuel oils in Zambia, but they also provide the raw materials for many auxiliary industries.

These include heavier fuel oils, jet fuel and diesel fuel. Furthermore, many such companies also import crude oil directly, which is then distilled into multiple petroleum products. It is used to supply paraffin wax, asphalt, tar, lubricating oils and even other heavy oils. Apart from that, these oil companies are responsible for the supply of chemicals that are also used to produce Sulphur, several types of plastics, and petroleum coke.

The petroleum industry in Zambia as a whole also includes not just the retailing and marketing of oil and petroleum-based products but also the various processes and stages that are part of this sector. These include transportation of the finished products (via their own fleets) and the refining of the oil.

They are also responsible for maintaining their own oil tankers and pipelines. Together, they form the backbone of the industry by taking ultimate responsibility for the marketing of petroleum products.  Within the industry, the products with the largest volume are petrol and fuel oil.  Petroleum oil and its many derivatives are also used as raw material for many chemical products, ranging from pharmaceuticals to solvents, all the way to fertilizers, plastics and even different types of pesticides and herbicides.

o   Total Zambia Ltd

Total Zambia has been operating in the country for quite a long time. They have around 48 service stations scattered all across the nine provinces of the country and they provide service round the clock, seven days a week.

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o   Ravasia Petroleum Limited (Zambia)

A notable player in the local oil industry, this company has been in existence for over four decades.  It was formed in 1968 with the name “Ravasia Motors”. Initially, it was operating purely as a retail service station, but it has since diversified into a large conglomerate.  Currently, the company is registered with the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) and has full licence to import, distribute, and retail many different petroleum products.

o   Spectra Oils (SPO) Ltd

Spectra Oil (SPO) is also playing a key role in the development of the oil and petroleum sector in Zambia. It has a nationwide network of branches and suppliers to ensure seamless delivery of its many services and products.