PM orders fuel supply from Tanga 

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has directed the Ministry for Energy to coordinate the purchase of petroleum products from Tanga Port instead of Dar es Salaam for the Northern and Lake Zone regions.

He issued the directive on Saturday, immediately after inspecting the improvement of the Tanga Port and Gulf Bulk Petroleum (GBP) Tanzania oil tank farm at Raskazone in Tanga city.

“It has been a norm that Mara, Mwanza, Manyara, Arusha, and Kilimanjaro Regions purchase petroleum products in Dar es Salaam. However, technological advancement has made it possible to obtain this service here in Tanga. It is imperative that the Ministry of Energy implements these instructions in order to ensure that oil traders are able to get their supplies from Tanga Port,” he said.

He asserted that the economy of the Northern regions would expand quickly if all business people purchased petroleum products from Tanga.

Mr Majaliwa explained that the investment in the storage facilities can keep up to 200 million litres of petroleum products and can receive fuel directly from the port.

“President Samia Suluhu Hassan has chosen this approach to help the nation’s economy grow. We will make sure that this investment benefits the investor and creates more jobs for the people of Tanga as the government expands the port’s capacity to handle more vessels,” he said.

Earlier, Chief Executive Officer of GBP, Mr Badar Sood, explained that the tanks were built in 2002 with a capacity of 25 million litres, while Tanga Port could only handle vessels with capacity to carry 6,000 litres.

GBP, the first local firm to win a tender to import petroleum products in bulk, in 2021 announced plans to double its storage capacity in a bid to serve more countries in East and Central Africa.

The company said it was planning to increase its storage capacity to store 300,000 metric tonnes, or 376.16 million litres, of petroleum products.

In order to maximise the efficiency of government investments for the benefit of both present and future generations, Mr Majaliwa gave nationwide instructions to port directors while he was at Tanga Port to develop new methods of enhancing port services.

The Premier said that Tanga Port was strategic and crucial, and that loading and unloading of cargo could be done quickly since major improvements have been made.

The construction of the new berth at Tanga Port has been completed by 99 per cent, but there are still minor works to complete, including installation of electrical systems.

“The improvement of Tanga Port has so far cost 429.2bn/-. The first phase involved the deepening of the entrance channel to facilitate easy ship anchoring and turning with a length of 1.7 km, a width of 75 metres, and a depth of 10 metres, while the second phase involve the building of a berth with a length of 450 metres,” Deputy Director General of Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Engineer Juma Kijavaro, said.

In the first phase, equipment for loading and unloading cargo was also purchased, such as a mobile crane capable of lifting 100 tonnes and an empty handler for carrying empty containers.

Others are forklift with 50-tonne capacity and two others with capacity of carrying five tonnes, Rubber Tyre Gantry (RTG) with 45-tonne capacity, Terminal Tractor (TT) and four spreaders.

Before such improvements, the Tanga Port had the challenge of accommodating large vessels because of its shallow depth.

Previously, the port had a capacity of handling 750,000 metric tonnes of cargo annually, but after the improvements, the port can now handle 3 million metric tonnes, and it operates 24 hours a day,” he said.

After the second phase of improvements, the port’s capacity to host large vessels has increased; so far, it has accommodated seven big ships, with a total of 67,371,406 metric tonnes.

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