FUEL shortages might become history following commencement of operations at the single point mooring (SPM), a multi-product facility, at Dar es Salaam Port over the weekend.
The facility, which will serve Tanzania and its landlocked neighbours, received a maiden tanker MT LR2 Pioneer with a carrying capacity of 115,000 dead weight tonnes, that discharged 59,172 tonnes of diesel.
The Petroleum Importation Coordinator, General Manager, Mr Michael Mjinja, said the commencing of SPM comes as a big relief to the oil sector as a whole as congestion at Kurasini Oil Jetty would ease considerably.
"The oil sector has now come out of the age...this is a big step forward in oil industry," Mr Mjinja told the 'Daily News' over the weekend. Mr Mjinja added: "Congestion at KOJ would ease considerably as it will be left to petrol, Jet A one, kerosene and edible cooking oil.
It's going to be a big relief." According to him, the KOJ, which has a capacity to receive less than 40,000 dwt, would continue to receive small vessels carrying all types of oil, expect diesel -- which is ordered in huge volumes for the domestic and transit market.
"This is a major boost for bulk fuel procurement initiative," Mr Mjinja said, adding "though is too early to predict pump price movements at the m ment." Due to economies of scale on oil importing, the bigger consignment is delivered with a single ship reducing transport costs hence pump prices as well for motorists.
However, GM of PIC said, the discharging at the dual pipeline fuel discharging buoy needs some minor adjustments since it was the first commercial delivery after construction. Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) said the 70 million US dollars (about 112bn/-) project as economically significant for the country and her neighbours who depend to the port for importation of fuel.
"Formal launching of the facility will take place in a near future subject to completion of commissioning process," TPA said in a statement released over the weekend. The multi-million US dollars project kicked off late last year and was scheduled to be completed this April.
But, it was delayed until the Deputy Minister for Transport, Dr Charles Tizeba, intervened late September and issued a two-week deadline. The project at Mjimwema in Kigamboni was completed two weeks ago. The pipelines are 28 inches for crude and the other 24 inches for white oils -- petrol, diesel and kerosene -- covers 3.6 kilometres offshore and 4.3 kilometres onshore.