The government says plans are still on the cards to construct an oil pipeline from either Beira or Nacala in Mozambique to Blantyre.

Ministry of Energy officials say the government is scouting an investor to construct the oil pipeline with a storage facility based on Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) arrangement.

Initially, the long overdue project was projected to run from Beira in Mozambique to the border district of Nsanje.

The Ministry’s Spokesperson Upile Kamoto said Blantyre has been chosen because it is where most of the oil marketing companies are headquartered with more fuel storage facilities.

“Since 2010 the ministry has been trying to find an investor to conduct a feasibility study, design and construct the pipeline from Beira-Nsanje in Malawi with a storage facility under the build own operate and transfer arrangement.

“There is no breakthrough in terms of finding an investor or finances for the project,” said Kamoto.

However, she was not clear to state the total projected budget for the same as no feasibility study has been undertaken to establish the full cost and economic benefits of the project.

But one of the studies conducted by Word Bank reveals that the estimated cost for constructing a petroleum pipeline in Sub-Saharan Africa hovers around $64,300 per inch-km adjusted for terrain and labor costs.

Once completed, the project is envisioned to ensure fuel security in the country due to its prospect of expediency in the hauling process, besides reduced landing costs as compared to road and railway hauling means.

SOURCE: NyasaTimes

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