Zimbabwe’s proposal to construct a second petroleum pipeline has been scuppered by Mozambique, a government official has revealed.
The proposed pipeline, the second after the Beira to Feruka pipeline, was expected to carry about 500 million litres of fuel per month from Beira to Harare.
No ‘unilateral’ action
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Partson Mbiriri has revealed that Zimbabwe could not take unilateral action on the pipeline project, according to reports. “Whereas this ministry (Energy and Power Development) has engaged our Mozambique counterparts on the second pipeline, we await a formal response from Mozambique. “Zimbabwe may not take unilateral action on this project,” he said.
Zimbabwe currently imports fuel through the 287-km long Feruka pipeline stretching from Beira in Mozambique to the Feruka oil refinery outside Mutare. The plan was to construct a second pipeline from Savanna, 50 kilometres north of Beira, Mozambique, to Zimbabwe. The newly-proposed pipeline would run parallel to the Feruka petroleum pipeline from the Beira fuel depot to Harare. The proposed pipeline was expected to carry about 500 million litres of fuel per month.
Feruka line control
Zimbabwe’s government controls 21 km of the Feruka line while Mozambique’s Companhiado Pipeline Mozambique-Zimbabwe company controls the rest. The Feruka pipeline pumps 6,5 million litres of fuel per day from Mozambique to Zimbabwe but it has a maximum capacity of eight million litres per day. The 408 km pipeline, built in 1966, stretches from Beira in Mozambique to Harare through the Feruka Oil Refinery outside Mutare.
Fuel haulage by truck
Zimbabwe last year introduced a $0,04 per litre levy on fuel importers using road transport to bring fuel into the country in an effort to force them to use the Beira-Feruka pipeline. About 35% of fuel is still being transported by haulage trucks despite the lower costs of carting through the pipeline. It is believed that importers are reluctant to use the pipeline. Industry players said while the pipeline was a cheaper mode of transporting fuel, the industry is so segmented that it would be difficult to co-ordinate the procurement of petroleum products in bulk in order to justify the use of the pipeline.