Tanzania and Zambia have agreed to construct a $1.5 billion oil pipeline to transport refined products. The pipeline will run from Tanzania’s sea-port of Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean through central Tanzania and northern Zambia to the Zambian mining city of Ndola, in the Copperbelt Province, a total distance of 1,349 kilometres.
This was made known by Tanzania’s Energy Minister, Medard Kalemani, during the presentation of his Ministry’s 2019/2020 budget plan in the administrative capital of Dodoma. The Minister also said that a feasibility study was scheduled to be carried out in the coming financial year. No information has been given on when the construction will start and the source of funding.
It is worthy to note that most of Zambia’s petroleum requirements are imported from the Middle East through the port of Dar es Salaam. The project is expected to reduce the challenges faced by countries that make use of only the Tanzania port to import fuel.
“The project will go a long way in reducing challenges of transporting petroleum products in the countries that use our ports to import fuel and open up business opportunities,” said Kalemani
The pipeline take-off points will be at Morogoro, Iringa, Njombe, Mbeya and Songwe regions on the Tanzanian side.
Zambia is a landlocked Southern African country and Africa’s top copper producer. It depends on its neighbour, Tanzania for the majority of its oil imports, sourced mainly from the Middle Eastern countries. Tanzania and Zambia are one of the oldest allies in the region and together formed the front line nations for independence for neighbouring African nations.