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Kateshumbwa: Tanzania fuel route much more viable, cost effective

By Dicksons Kateshumbwa (MP)

Dar es Salaam Option: Fuel Importation: Over the years Dar port in Tz has made significant investments in the expansion of port infrastructure to facilitate regional trade. For the case of fuel imports to Uganda, Dar is not a sole option, but a supplementary option. The distance from Dar es Salam to Mutukula is about 1500 km. The cost of transport per cubic meter from Dar to Ug is about 120-130$. There is no pipeline from Dar to Ug for now, so Transportation is by road and partly through Lake via Mwanza.

This road transport journey on average takes the truck an average 5-6 days. On the other hand, via Mombasa route fuel is pumped through KPC to Western Kenya eg Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisumu and Ugandan OMCs evacuate to Kampala via a distance of 300 Kms at a cost of 40$ per Cubic Meter. This route is therefore much more viable and cost effective. But as a country we need both routes and we have to keep pushing for improved efficiency at both ports as well as minimize logistical costs. Future regional developments eg pipeline via Tanga, will change the dynamics and lessen the TZ route option.

Suffice to note that Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia and DRC largely clear their fuel via Dar route because of its cost effectiveness logistics wise, but some efficiency (delays) challenges along. In conclusion, we need both ports; they are all necessary, but one is not an exclusive substitute of the other. As critical users of the ports, who sustain them thru our business, we must continuously advocate for their efficiency and lower turn around times. Japanese ports in 2021 recorded the highest turn around times of 8 hours, India 22 hrs while our regional ports boast of 75 hours. In business time is money or rather expense, which is component in the determination of final consumer price.

The writer is the Member of Parliament for Sheema Municipality.

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