Lusaka – Angolaand Zambia have signed an MoU for construction of a US$5 billion pipeline to move finished petroleum products between the two countries.
The 1,400km pipeline will follow the route of the Lobito Corridor from the Lobito Oil refinery in Angola’s Benguela Province to Lusaka. Projections are that it will take five years to build, and will have capacity to move 100,000 barrels oil-equivalent a day of petrol, diesel and gas.
The pipeline was first proposed in 2012 and the US$5 billion shared-financing agreement was agreed in 2019. Further negotiations culminated in the recent signing of the MoU.
State companies SONANGOL of Angola and Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation are strategic equity partners in the project. Landlocked Zambia says it will reduce its import bill by securing petroleum from Angola rather than mostly from the Middle East.
This week’s signing of the MoU paves way for feasibility studies for the Refined Petroleum Multi-Product and Natural Gas Pipeline Project (AZOP), Angola’s minister of Mineral Resources and Oil, Diamantino Azevedo said.
“The construction of the petroleum pipeline to Zambia is part of the Angola’s strategic plan in the petroleum sector,” he added. “The conclusion of these works will also facilitate the construction of roads and railways to connect neighboring countries.”
Minister Azevedo went on: “The installation of the new delivery system is vital to meet the current demand in Zambia and the sub region and also prepare for consumption in the long term. Zambia currently has one pipeline which transports its petroleum products from the port of Dar es salaam in Tanzania to Indeni Refinery in Ndola.”
Angola is also developing a 100,000 barrels per day refinery in Cabinda, another one of similar capacity in Soyo, a 200,000 barrels per day facility in Lobito, in addition to tripling output at the refinery in Luanda.
These projects will make Angola a surplus refined petroleum producer, and the country is securing supply contracts with several countries.