State-owned National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe (NOIC) has been given the green light to assume full ownership of the Feruka-Harare pipeline by the Competition and Tariffs Commission (CTC).
This comes after NOIC has reportedly acquired Lonmin’s 50% shareholding in Petrozim Line (Private) Limited (Petrozim/PZL).
The Feruka-Harare pipeline is owned and operated by Petrozim. The company holds exclusive rights to pump fuel from Beira to Zimbabwe.
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In an interview with Newsday, CTC director Ellen Ruparanganda confirmed that NOIC is considering the option of buying all Petrozim shares. She said:
NOIC entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement with Lonmin on 30 September 1988, which detailed the formation, control, operation and objectives of a JV company — Petrozim Line.
NOIC had the option to purchase all shares in Petrozim Line owned by Lonmin and is now exercising the option.
As a result of this transaction, NOIC will have 100% ownership of PZL and thereby having sole control of the pipeline and storage facilities managed by PZL.
The transaction was classified as a vertical merger and was approved subject to the condition that NOIC maintains the pumping schedules of fuel in a manner that promotes competition among fuel
Ruparanganda said that ownership of a strategic asset by the government is key to increasing revenues and attracting investors into the country.