Zambia and Namibia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a new gas and products pipeline project.
The link would run from Walvis Bay, to Swakopmund and then on to Zambia. The Namibia-Zambia Multi-Product Petroleum and Natural Gas Pipelines Project (NAZOP) could also supply other countries in the region.
Zambia Energy Minister Peter Kapala welcomed the support from Basali Ba Liseli Resources (BBLR) for the Namibian plan. BBLR is also working on a project to import products from Angola via pipeline.
NAZOP would be able to carry 100,000-120,000 barrels per day of products, Kapala said.
Kapala signed the MoU with his Namibian counterpart, Tom Alweendo, on October 6 in Swakopmund. Kapala said NAZOP would take three to four years to complete.
The Namibia Economist quoted Alweendo as saying it was “one thing to sign an MoU and it is another thing to ensure that it is implemented. The MoU makes provision for a joint technical committee that will be responsible to work with the private sector in identifying the exact assistance that will be needed. We urge those who will be serving on the technical committee to work diligently and to make it happen.”
Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah welcomed the signing of the deal and local discoveries of crude.
“We will discuss how this resource can be of benefit to the people of the region. The new pipeline will further benefit both people of Namibia and Zambia by creating value chains and employment creation,” she said.
The Zambian delegation visited Walvis Bay and toured the Namport storage facility.
Zambia faces near term challenges in securing petroleum products, which has been a topic of much discussion with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Zambia’s Indeni refinery will move to blending ethanol with finished products in December, according to government plans. This should reduce costs, Kapala has said.
The government is also working to increase access to electricity, particularly in the countryside. Rural electrification is 8.1%, with the government aiming to increase this to 51% by 2030.
Kapala, talking at the beginning of October, said the government had launched a master plan to electrify all rural areas.