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NOIC Completes US$11 million LP Gas Depot

Completed US$11 million LP Gas Depot

Ruwa | With the first phase of the US$11 million liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage and processing plant in Ruwa, which has a 650-ton holding capacity, now online, GAS supplies are more certain.

The well-executed project, carried out by the state-owned National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe (NOIC), puts an end to the sporadic stock-outs between deliveries by enabling a respectable quantity of gas to be kept.

The usage of LP gas has increased, particularly for cooking in homes, because of its affordability and dependability. As household wealth increases, it becomes the prefered fuel substitute for firewood and functions well during load shedding.

The second phase of the 1 350 tonne plant that NOIC is building is already 60% complete. The facility will hold 2,000 tonnes of LPG and is being built in stages.

Yesterday, Charles Tavengwa, the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for the Harare Metropolitan Province, and Dr. Jorum Gumbo, Special Advisor to the President on Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes and Projects, on a tour of the facility.

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According to NOIC Chief Executive Officer Mr. Wilfred Matukeni, the project’s overall scope is two thousand tonnes.

He declared, “The first phase is complete; the tanks have been installed, and we have already received LP gas. We are now testing in preparation for the facility’s commissioning.”

“So far we have divided the project into two phases, the first involves the installation of a storage capacity of 650 tonnes with a full automatic control system which will involve some measurements like weighbridge and carousel for the loading of gas cylinders.”

Mr Matukeni said the second phase will involve the additional installation of 1 350 tonnes to complete the project.

Minister Gumbo applauded the addition to the NOIC facilities in eastern Harare, especially after President Mnangagwa recently commissioned a US$7,3 million ethanol storage and handling facility in Mabvuku.

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“Phase 1 of the project has been completed at a total cost of US$10,9 million. Phase 2 is at 60 percent completion and involves the construction of storage tanks with a handling capacity of 1 500 tonnes.

“The availability of clean, cheap and reliable energy is a basic requirement for all Zimbabwean citizens. I say this because energy supply is fundamentally important for industrial and domestic services,” he said.

Minister Gumbo said the country’s energy supply sector has faced challenges in recent times, including inadequate storage facilities for LP Gas.

“I am pleased that the Government has taken strides to address these challenges through various interventions including the implementation of this project,” he said.

Minister Gumbo said over the years, the country has experienced an exponential demand for LPG due to growth in industry and in some instances shortages resulting from inadequate storage space.

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“In order to address the perennial shortage of gas, the Government made a deliberate decision to increase national LPG storage space in order to provide buffer stocks and reduce the effects of stock-outs experienced especially during winter,” he said.

Minister Gumbo said although the Government had a significant presence in petroleum storage through NOIC depots, it had no direct ownership and control of LPG storage and handling facilities.

“The facility is therefore meant to give the Government some control in the storage and handling of LP Gas and therefore enhance Government’s regulation of the sector.

“The expectation is that this will reduce the withholding of the product by unscrupulous dealers for speculative purposes,” he said.

Turning to employment creation, Minister Gumbo said he was pleased that the construction of Phase 1 of the project has created job opportunities for the local community as some will be engaged as permanent employees when the project becomes fully operational.

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“Indeed, communities should be allowed to actively participate in the projects implemented in their jurisdictions. Specifically, communities should not always be passive beneficiaries of developmental projects,” he said.

Minister Tavengwa said he was pleased that the work has been done by NOIC, a State entity, wholly owned by the Government of Zimbabwe.

“As we all have noted in the Second Republic, under the visionary leadership of His Excellency Dr ED Mnangagwa, substantial progress is being made on using clean energy, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in this case Number 13, that of Climate Action.

“The scale of growth in energy investments, enabling policies by Government and renewable energy capacitation efforts has been notable. The LPG facility will address issues of availability, affordability and accessibility not only in our province but the nation at large,” he said.

Minister Tavengwa said the province recognises that such efforts create employment opportunities for the youths and boost the Provincial Gross Domestic Product in line with the President’s mantra, “nyika inovakwa nevene vayo”.

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The project began in 2018 but was initially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with foreign currency related challenges.

The LPG venture is another multi-million dollar construction project being carried out by Fossil Contracting.

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