Rosneft is looking to build a $700 million oil-products pipeline from Mozambique to Zimbabwe in an effort to expand its international reach. Rosneft is the leader of Russia’s petroleum industry, and ranks among the world’s top publicly traded oil and gas companies. The Company is primarily engaged in exploration and production of hydrocarbons, production of petroleum products and petrochemicals, and marketing of outputs.
This move will mark the oil producer’s first foray into pipeline construction overseas. The new route seeks to compete with shipments to Zimbabwe by road from neighboring South Africa that supplement supplies through an existing pipeline, which is working at full capacity, Roman Trotsenko, an adviser to Rosneft president Igor Sechin, said late last week. Rosneft expects to obtain construction permits and conclude the necessary agreements by the end of this year, he said.
The new pipeline — from Mozambique’s port of Beira to Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, Trotsenko said — will presumably run alongside the current 700-kilometer link. The project also includes construction of a storage depot near Harare and a sea terminal in Beira. The terminal will come at an additional cost, Trotsenko said.
The pipeline may later be extended to Zambia, Malawi and Botswana, he added.
Rosneft announced its African ambitions after Zimbabwean Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma said in August that the government planned a new pipeline to boost fuel imports. He said the project, which the parties involved hope to begin early next year, could be done by a consortium that includes the Mozambican government and private players.
A Russian delegation led by Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov visited Zimbabwe and Mozambique earlier this month to explore investment opportunities.
During the visit, Russia and Zimbabwe signed an agreement to protect mutual investments, which Manturov said laid the groundwork for Russian companies to become more active in the African country.
Russian companies are ready to invest in Zimbabwe’s infrastructure and metallurgy and to export mining equipment, vehicles and helicopters, he said.