HARARE - A fuel pipeline sharing deal which will see the Harare - Beira pipeline extended to Francistown has been planned by the governments of Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Zimbabwe has been actively seeking to court regional partners who want to access the pipeline to make it more profitable through increased traffic volumes.
The Harare - Beira pipeline has a capacity to pump a maximum of six million litres of fuel a day to Zimbabwe.
Botswana, on the other hand, has indicated that it has started working on expanding their Francistown tank to increase holding capacity.
Speaking to TellZim News on the sidelines of the SADC Petroleum and Gas Sub Committee Meeting held in Harare recently, Botswana representative and chairperson of the sub-committee Baruti Regoeng said Botswana was restructuring its fuel supply model to make it more economical.
He said the Beira - Harare pipeline presented a viable alternative to supply the north-eastern parts of Botswana with oil.
"We are done with the project details and other relevant specifics between the two parties and we are now at implementation stage. We have already started expanding our Francistown storage facilities to reach a capacity of 60 million litres," said Mr Regoeng.
The Port of Beira is the country's lifeline in terms of fuel transportation with over 95 per cent of total fuel destined for Zimbabwe coming through the port.
"Using the pipeline is all about the game of numbers. If as a country we consume less fuel, then the cost of using the pipeline is higher but if the volumes using the pipeline are increased, which will be the case if we share the pipeline with more players, then the cost becomes competitive," said Partson Mbiriri from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.business