Tanzania: Tazama Seeks Loan to Upgrade Entire Pipeline

TANZANIA Zambia Mafuta (Tazama) Pipeline is seeking a 400-million US dollars (over 920bn/-) loan to upgrading the entire pipe diameter to 12 inches.

Tazama's oil pipeline which is over 1,700 kilometres running from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Ndola, Zambia has some sections in eight inches and others in 12 inches limiting its pumping capacity.

Tazama's Tanzania Regional Manager, Abraham Saunyama said having different size diameters along the pipeline hinders the pumping capacity.

"What we want is to make the whole pipeline from Dar to Ndola a 12-inch to increase the performance of the pipeline," Mr Saunyama told 'Daily News' in an interview over the weekend.

The current pipeline pumping capacity at the moment is 60 percent, equals to 2million litres a day, after upgrading the amount will shoot to 95 percent.

The regional manager said Tazama is capable of paying the loan and a number of lending institutions have come forward.

"We are capable of paying slowly and a number of institutions have come forward, want to provide the loan to us," Mr Saunyama said.

He said once the fund is obtained it will take 18 months to complete the upgrading using internal experts.

"What we want are equipment [and the fund], which are imported and the rest is [a matter of] cut here fix a large pipe there," Mr Saunyama said.

The Tazama Pipeline started operating in 1968 and was designed to pump diesel but was changed two years later when it was sought profitable to import crude instead of refined products.

However, Mr Saunyama said they wanted to go back to pumping refined products since the pipeline is multipurpose.

"We want to go back to pumping diesel again... since it's a matter of cleaning from the system when changing products," he said.

Two years ago, the firm replaced all the 28 pumping units along the pipeline at a cost of 5.2million US dollars on per station.

Tazama is jointly owned by Zambia with 66.7 percent and Tanzania with 33.3 percent share capital.

The company was formed for the purpose of cheaply transporting crude oil or its petroleum products from the port of Dar es Salaam into landlocked Zambia.

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