By Tichaona Kurewa
HARARE-ZIMBABWE’S National Oil and Infrastructure Company (NOIC) will next year reduce fees to transport oil through the Beira-Feruka-Msasa pipeline to 6.5 US cents per litre from 8.05 US cents per same unit, an official has said.
Petroleum products are shipped to Beira and transported into Zimbabwe up to Feruka in Mutare (Manicaland province) through the duct, which is cheaper than road and rail.
From Feruka, fuel is pumped again to Msasa and Mabvuku in Harare for storage and distribution to other NOIC depots and other customers in Bulawayo and other centres.
NOIC public relations officer Loku Tshaka said the price reduction is meant to increase the uptake of the pipeline service.
“The current pipeline fees is 8.05 US cents per litre, this was adjusted to 6.5 US cents per litre. The changes will be effected in January 2017,” Tshaka said.
Tshaka said the need to offer competitive tariff in comparison with other modes of fuel transport also influenced the decision to reduce the fees.
“This will increase the pipeline’s commercial attractiveness for customers. Increased pipeline capacity utilisation in line with rising import requirements for both the domestic and the regional markets,” she said.
She said NOIC intends to make Zimbabwe the regional hub for moving fuel into the region and beyond. Zimbabwe needs about 2.5 million litres of diesel and 1.5 million litres petrol daily.
NOIC command over 500 million litres of storage capacity more than adequate for current local and regional fuel requirements.
Some countries in the region, which include Zambia, the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo); Botswana, Malawi and South Africa-Limpopo province pick some of their fuel from Zimbabwe but the volumes are still low, reaching 10 million litres per month at best.
To discourage the transportation of fuel by road, Harare in 2011 also introduced a Fuel Pipe Line Levy of 4 US cents per litre on all fuel that is brought into the country by road to encourage the usage of the pipeline.