The government has reportedly blocked a $1 billion fuel pipeline project citing underutilisation of the existing pipeline. The 550km pipeline which was supposed to run from Beira to Harare was going to be constructed by South African-owned Mining, Oil and Gas Services Company (MOGS).
This is not the first time the government has expressed its disinterest in a second fuel pipeline to complement the Feruka Oil Pipeline. Source told the Independent that Sakunda Holdings which reportedly controls the existing pipeline is behind the blocking of the new line proposed by MOGS.
Writes The Independent:
Tagwirei, whose company controls the Beira to Harare pipeline that supplies Zimbabwe with most of its fuel, is allegedly blocking the construction of the second pipeline that is earmarked to go as far as Botswana.
Sakunda recently invested US$11 million into the refurbishment of the Beira-Feruka oil pipeline, and is jointly running the pipeline with the National Oil Infrastructure Company (Noic) as it recoups its investment.
Sakunda has enjoyed a monopoly over the pipeline, a move that has drawn the ire of other players.
MOGS, which has the backing of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s advisor Chris Mutsvangwa, has been pushing for a deal to build a second pipeline but some politicians have been reportedly blocking it.
Mutsvangwa, who has been vocal about dismantling Sakunda’s monopoly in the fuel sector, approached Mnangagwa with a proposal to have MOGS build a second pipeline. The presidential adviser has been actively promoting the MOGS deal alongside former MDC legislator Eddie Cross.
More: Zimbabwe Independent