The Tanzania International Petroleum Reserves Limited (TIPER), formerly known as Tanzania Italian Petroleum Refinery plans to invest US D16 million (about TSH 25.6bn/-) to double its storage capacity to 300,000 cubic metres from its current operational capacity of 147,000, m3, in the next five years.
In an official statement issued over the weekend, TIPER Managing Director, Daniel Belair, said the investment comes in addition to a massive rehabilitation started several years ago at a cost of USD 14 million (about 22.4bn/-).
The petroleum storage firm is jointly owned by government of Tanzania and Oryx Oil and Gas (OOG), a Swiss company, each with a 50 per cent stake.
It is open to all oil companies, national and international, who want to store products. TIPER’s tariffs are public and regularly reviewed by its Board of Directors, Belair said, adding: “At present, with 147,000 cubic meters, the firm has the largest storage capacity in Tanzania and this will be increased to 300,000 by 2015,” Belair said.
He said a government institution had also shown keen interest to store the National Strategic Petroleum Reserves at TIPER.
“The total capacity at our facility is spread out in 30 calibrated tanks varying from 2,000 to 14,500 cubic meters. These tanks will soon be electronically gauged and all movements will be accessible in real time from computer screens at TIPER, but also at the offices of the Government’s TRA located within TIPER itself,” he explained.
The facility is used for the storage of petroleum products namely diesel, gasoline (petrol) as well as kerosene and heavy furnace oil (HFO).
In the new expansion investment, two tanks with a capacity of 36,600 cubic meters will be added in the first quarter of 2013.
“Works already started in January, this year. At completion of this stage, the total capacity will reach 220,200 cubic meters,” he said.
He said TIPER board of directors has also approved a budget of USD 5 million to lay down a new set of four pipes between Kigamboni and Kurasini to improve pumping rates towards oil marketing depots mostly situated on the Kurasini side.
“This project also includes a new manifold and pumping station. These new pipes will be an essential element to suppress the various bottlenecks and better cater for current and future needs. This project will be realised within the next 12 months,” he explained.
Belair said his company strongly welcomes the idea of licensing petroleum activity and more specifically to all petroleum terminals, saying it would ensure greater petroleum products’ integrity in the market.
Many stakeholders in the industry had expressed doubts over the practicality of SBM and bulk procurement system in absence of adequate storage facilities. However, with improvements planned by TIPER, the authorities will now have at their full disposal a modern and efficient facility capable of handling both daily necessities of any oil marketing company and also the government’s legitimate requirements for strategic storage, he said.