Dar envisions to become fuel trade hub

TANZANIA envisions becoming a centre for oil trade in East and Central Africa following the construction of fuel terminals and large storage facilities in the country.

The construction of the infrastructure will not only speed up fuel offloading from foreign vessels to the terminals, but also expand storage capacity and reduce prices of the commodity.

The plan was unveiled yesterday in Dar es Salaam by the Minister for Energy Mr January Makamba during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Tanzania Petroleum Development Cooperation and Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC Group).

“The MoU signing opens up a door for further talks on how the investment activities can be affected where in next few months we will have reached a next step on the way forward for signing investment contracts,” the minister said.

He added that, a total capital sought, if all goes as planned will be more than 400 million US dollars equivalent to 935.8bn/-.

Minister Makamba said if the final investment deal is signed, Tanzania will have an increased capacity of purchasing bulk oil which will be quickly offloaded and stored, enabling the country to have petroleum products stock capable of lasting for more than three months.

The stock will help mitigate the prices of local and foreign destined oil stocks.

He said the fuel trade centre will help to address the current challenges including limited storage infrastructure that affects the business efficiency and skyrocketing prices as fuel vessels are forced to wait for 15 days to offload the commodity while in other countries they spend only 24 hours.

The minister added that the country’s storage capacity is also low and the government targets to store fuel to cater for six months.

According to the minister, the new terminals and storage tanks will help to reduce oil tankers’ turnaround time at Dar es Salaam port to an average of one day from the current maximum of 15 waiting days.

“Other benefits will be to diversify oil terminals and storage in different regions, establishing fuel sovereignty to absorb shocks especially in times of global crisis that lead to uncontrollable price hikes.

Neighboring countries to benefit from the bulk storage facilities investments by the firm include Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Zambia and Malawi which largely depend on Dar es Salaam Port for their petroleum product imports.

On his part, ENOC Group Chief Executive Officer Saif Humaid Al Falasi assured the minister that his company had vast experience oil infrastructure investment for 42 years in various countries including Dubai, Singapore, Algeria and Europe, among others.

He assured Tanzanians of a good project which is crucial for the country’s economy.


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