Mozambique: Construction of Matola-Witbank oil pipeline begins in September

25 March 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 25 March – Construction of the oil pipeline linking the Matola refinery in Mozambique to the city of Witbank, in South Africa, is due to be start in September, Mozambique’s Energy minister, Salvador Namburete said in the Mozambican parliament last week.

According to newspaper Notícias, the minister said that construction fo the pipeline, expected to be in operation by 2011, represented an investment of US$537 million.

Last February, the director of Nature & Business Alliance Africa, a company involved in the pipeline’s environmental impact studies, Alfonso Niemand, said that construction would take 18 months and cost 3 to 4 billion rand.

Nersa (the energy sector regulator in South Africa) granted a license for construction of the pipeline to oil company Petroline RSA on 29 March of last year having accepted the Mozambique-South Africa option instead of the Durban-Johannesburg option as it was cheaper.

The pipeline will carry 3.5 billion liters of fuel per year and meet 25 percent of the fuel demand of the South African cities of Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

The project will be jointly organised by oil companies Petroline RSA, of South Africa and Petroline SARL, of Mozambique.

Meanwhile, Mozambican port and railroad company Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) is investing US$4 million on repair and expansion work for its fuel terminal, at Matola port and has launched a pre-qualification tender to select the developer that can carry out the work.

The Matola Fuel Terminal has the capacity to deal with 1 million tons of fuel per year, and it is hoped that after the extension the facility will be able to deal with 5 million tons per year.

As well as work on the terminal’s logistics chain, the port’s access channel is also due to be dredged in order to allow ships weighing up to 80,000 ton to enter the port, as compared to the quay’s current capacity for 60,000 ton ships. (macauhub)