onstruction works on a second oil pipeline connecting Zambia and Tanzania have started, a Zambian government official said on Tuesday.
Peter Kapala, the Minister of Energy, said construction of the pipeline has already begun with the building of a 700 km segment on the Tanzanian side.
He said the two governments recently firmed up modalities to operationalize the whole framework of the project and that the new pipeline will soon start pumping diesel into Zambia.
He said in a statement that the Zambian side was in the final stages of finalizing the financing mechanism for the project with phase one expected to cost 250 million U.S. dollars and 300 million U.S. dollars to complete.
The total project cost for the two countries has been estimated at 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, he added.
“This will consequently reduce transportation costs and hence sustainably reduce the pump price of diesel, which is currently at a record high,” he said.
The countries already share the Tanzania-Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) pipeline, a 1,710 km pipeline that has been transporting raw crude oil material for refining from the Port of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania to Indeni Petroleum Refinery in Zambia’s Ndola town.
According to the minister, the new pipeline will run alongside the old one and will be more modernized and mostly subterranean for security reasons.