Golden Sibanda and Kuda Mhundwa
THE Companhiado De Pipeline Mozambique-Zimbabwe (CPMZ) fuel pipeline, which transports fuel from Beira to Harare, will resume operations early next month after authorities closed it two weeks ago as a precautionary measure against the tropical Cyclone Idai.
Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Magna Mudyiwa told journalists in Harare yesterday that the CPMZ pipeline was suspended on March 15 as a precautionary measure against the destructive Cyclone Idai.
The tropical storm left a trail of destruction in Mozambique, eastern parts of Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Hundreds have been killed, thousands displaced while scores are still missing.
It also destroyed property and infrastructure worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said while the pipeline would remain closed until at the latest April 8, 2019, the country had enough stocks to see it through during this period.
This gives CMPZ ample time to work on resumption of operations of the pipeline from Beira to Mutare.
“The pipeline was shut down on the 15th of March, as a safety precautionary measure, but what we got is that where the pumping is done (in Beira) they have not resumed pumping.
“They are trying to sort out a few challenges, which they are facing, and we hope the worst scenario that we can get is that they would resume pumping by the 8th of April, but we anticipate that it can be earlier, maybe in a week’s time,” she said.
Mozambique operates the CPMZ pipeline from the coastal town of Beira to Feruka in Mutare while the National Oil and Infrastructure Company (NOIC) operates the Feruka Pipeline from Mutare to Mabvuku or Msasa depots in Harare.
The CPMZ-Feruka pipeline transports 90 percent of fuel into Zimbabwe while the balance of the fuel is imported by road.
Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said Government had received assurances from the CPMZ that the pipeline would be back in operation by April 8 to enable the country to replenish stocks at its major fuel storage tanks in Harare.
She said the pipeline was intact despite the cyclone.
Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said current fuel shortages in Zimbabwe were not in any way caused by the effects of Cyclone Idai.
Source : The Herald