By Mary Taruvinga, Senior Reporter
PETROZIM Line (Private) Limited, an entity wholly owned by the National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe, has set an ambitious target to establish Harare as the regional hub for fuel distribution.
The upgrade project, according to PZL executive director Peter Masvikeni, is at an advanced stage, with detailed designs having been completed.
“So far we have completed the detailed designs of the upgrade project for both the first phase and the second phase,” Masvikeni said.
“We have gone to the stage of procurement where to date we have contracted six vendors for the supply of critical equipment,” he said.
Masvikeni said the equipment will arrive soon, with construction expected to start in 2023.
At the Annual General meeting held Monday, NOIC board chairman Daniel Mackenzie Ncube said the project will be done at a total cost of US$20 million.
“The first phase of the capacity upgrade is expected to cost about US$15 million and will be funded from internally generated resources. As a result, the board recommended and the AGM approved, that the declaration of a dividend be waived in order to channel financial resources towards this critical project,” he said.
He said the first phase of the project will be commissioned in the first quarter of 2023.
“As the representative of the shareholder, I am confident of the company’s positive performance into the future,” he said.
Ncube said this confidence emanates from the culture of leadership that the PZL leadership has fostered in the company and its employees.
In 2020 the PZL pumped a total of 1,22 billion litres from Feruka to Msasa, which was adequate for the intended customers and this thoughput was achieved in the face of the Covid-19 induced operational challenges.
In 2021 the company pumped a total of 1,19 billion litres from Feruka to Msasa.
According to Ncube, the imminent upgrade to establish Harare as the regional hub for fuel distribution is being done with PZL in conjunction with its Mozambican counterpart, CPMZ.
The pumping capacity of the pipeline will be upgraded from an annual volume throughput of 2, 19 billion liters to 3 billion litres.
The objective is to achieve a capacity of five billion litres by 2025.
These volumes translate to daily volumes of six million litres currently and 8,2 and 13, 7 million litres after the successive upgrades.
He said the utilisation of the future capacity will result in the generation of additional foreign currency revenue for the business and the nation at large, as well as preservation of the road infrastructure through reduced volumes of fuel tanker traffic.
Petrozim Line is the company that owns and operates the pipeline which transports petroleum products from Feruka to Harare for distribution within the country and into the hinterland markets.