Malawi Government says the construction of the first ever oil pipe line from Beira in Mozambique to Nsanje is yet to be implemented because the multi-million kwacha project is waiting for potential financiers to come and invest.
The pipeline, expected to be constructed between the port of Beira and Nsanje, is aimed helping the Malawi Government to secure the regular supply of oil products, particularly diesel, petroleum and paraffin.
Malawi currently imports more than 90 percent of its oil products via the ports of Beira and Nacala, in tanker trucks, whilst the remainder arrives through Dar-es-Salam in Tanzania.
Deputy director in the department of energy affairs, Joseph Kalowekamo, told Business Review that the concept is still on the table.
He, however, said the delay in implementing the project is because government is still selling the concept to potential investors.
“It has been long since the initiative was announced by the government, but the implementation is awaiting identification of financiers and investors,” said Kalowekamo.
He said viability studies were done and the proposal was found to be feasible, as such, government will ensure that the project is operationalised.
“The project will reduce transportation costs whose benefits will trickle down to the consumers. It will also reduce delays in delivery of fuel,” he said, adding that the construction of the pipeline will also prevent pilferage of fuel by some transporters.
Meanwhile, government is also constructing strategic fuel reserves which at Matindi in Blantyre, Kanengo in Lilongwe and Sonda in Mzuzu as a medium to long-term solution to fuel problems in the country
“Initially, the construction of the oil pipeline was being handled together with the construction of strategic fuel reserves because they are interlinked and we are glad to say that the construction of these reserves has already started.
“However, the issue of the oil pipeline is a long-term solution to fuel problems in the country and we will continue to work on it tirelessly,” he said.
Currently, Malawi largely depends on Tanzania and Mozambique as conduits for its fuel which like other goods in the country is physically transported by road on trucks.
Using the new oil pipeline, Malawi was expected to receive over 900 million litres of fuel per year, potentially increasing the country’s fuel reserves to three months, as compared to the current 10 to 14 days.