Dar es Salaam — The landlocked countries that have been using Dar es Salaam Port as their main gateway to facilitate their trade will soon see the commencement of the long awaited Single Point Mooring (SPM) system.
Through SPM, importers will be able to discharge up to 15million tonnes of oil per hour more than 40,000 dwt current one at Kurasini Oil Jetty (KOJ). The $70m multi-product facility is expected to increase efficiency at the port, which serves about seven landlocked countries.
"We are confident that the installation of the facility at this port (Dar es Salaam) will eventually ease regional trade as there will be no more delays at the port," Dr. Charles Tizeba, the Deputy Minister for Transport said last week in Dar es Salaam.
The SPM is an offshore-anchored loading buoy that serves as a mooring (anchoring) point that interconnects tankers loading or offloading gas or fluid products.
"We believe that the new SPM will stabilize oil supply in the country which for the time has been experiencing fuel scarcity, he said, adding that SPM can discharge up to 15 million tonnes per hour which is more than 40,000 dwt current one at KOJ."
Tanzania has been losing TSh40bn ($24.6m) per month in the past six months as a result of the inefficiency of the oil jetty located at Dar es Salaam port.
"The commencement of SPM is a big step forward in the oil industry as congestion at KOJ would ease considerably," Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) spokesman, Mr. Franklin Mziray said.
According to Mziray, the advanced technology used to install the facility will help to sustain and address shortages of fuel in the country and the neighboring countries which depend on Dar port for importation of fuel.
He said the KOJ, which has a capacity to receive less than 40,000 dwt, would continue to receive small vessels carrying all types of oil, except diesel -- which is ordered in huge volumes for the domestic and transit market.
In early October this year, Mr Buwni Moire, the Transport minister from Rwanda and his Ugandan counterpart, Mr. Abraham James Byandala, who had the opportunity to visit the new SPM were impressed by the newly facility.
In his remarks, Mr. Byandala said, "I am really impressed with this innovation here. I hope in return, it will ease regional trade. I always get delays in getting fuel from the port but after the completion of this project, we hope things will be easier for Uganda and to the rest of the East African member countries."
In a statement, Leighton Offshore Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Boyd Merrett said, "We are proud to have worked with the Tanzanian Ports Authority to complete this project which included a number of technical firsts."
Merrett mentioned some of these technical firsts as including the complete pigging of the system through the SPM and pipelines, and some challenging work in trenching through the intertidal zone.