Insufficient capacity at the Kurasini Oil Jetty (KOJ) to receive oil could hamper the smooth implementation of the bulk procurement of fuel to Tanzania scheduled to start at the end of the year.
The first ship or vessel under the new arrangement was expected to arrive in the country during the third week of December.
The bulk oil importation was introduced by the government as one of curbing fluctuation of fuel prices caused by dishonest fuel dealers.
Consumer fuel prices in the country are expected to drop by between 15 and 18% when the new bulk oil procurement and importation system becomes fully effective.
Meanwhile, about $2.223 billion (1.62 billion) is needed for improvement of Dar es Salaam and Tanga ports as well as construction of the proposed Mbegani port in Bagamoyo.
Of this $523 million will be used to improve the Dar es Salaam port by establishing berth 13 and 14 and replacing the existing slipways. $600 is needed for improvement of the Tanga port while $1.1 billion is the cost of constructing the Mbegani port.
The Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) is currently in negotiation with various financers with regard to entering joint venture agreement or to investing in the projects
The executive director of the Petroleum Importation Coordinator (PIC), a firm responsible for organising the process, Salum Bisarara, says PIC was looking for companies to supply petroleum products on an average requirement of 150,000 tonnes per month.
But the TPA deputy director general, Julius Mfuko, says that the KOJ facilities have a capacity to process only 40,000 tonnes of crude and white oil.
‘I don’t know on which grounds they made the projection (to procure 150,000 tonnes of oil), but the fact is that we have the ability to unload and store only 40,000 to 45,000 tonnes of fuel at our KOJ facilities.’
He admitted that TPA received a request from the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura) to expand the facilities for the storage of petroleum products that would be imported in bulk.
However, Mfuko said TPA notified Ewura that they could not expand the facilities at the KOJ due to limited space. ‘We made them understand that we can only increase the depth of at our berths, but not the tankers because we have no space.’
Mfuko said the new oil procurement arrangement was dealt a major blow after TPA attempted to build a tank farm at Vijibweni area in Kigamboni with a capacity of storing up to 1 million tonnes of crude and white oil.
He said the plan was first interrupted following a land dispute at the area where they planned to establish the tank farm.
Alternatively Mfuko said TPA was weighing the possibility of building a tank farm within the Dar es Salaam Port premises with the capacity of storing up to 200,000 tonnes.
The maintenance of a Single Point Mooring (SPM) at Mjimwema bay is underway. According to him upon the completion the Mji Mwema SPM designed for tankers of up to 120,000 deadweight tonnes, including pipelines linking to the fuel refinery at Tiper and other bulk storage facility at Kigamboni. The maintenance will be completed in April 2012.