New agreement for Tanzanian port and oil marketing companies
Dar-es-Salaam port users have agreed that from now onwards, berthing of oil tankers should be on “1st come, 1st served” basis and that no special preference would be given to any importer without an approval by a special committee formed. This is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and Tanzania Association of Oil Marketing Companies (TAOMAC) on the usage of Kurasini Oil Jetty (KOJ).
The agreement stipulates that all emergencies to disrupt the system are subjected to an approval by a Priority Berthing Committee (PBC) which comprises members from different stakeholders. Dar es Salaam Port Manager Mr Cassian Ng'amilo said any priority would be approved after a thorough scrutiny to avoid creating shortage of essential commodities in the country.
“We agree to accord priority berthing to vessel carrying goods including heavy fuel to avert power shortages,” Mr Ng'amilo, who is also the committee chairman, said. The port manager said edible cooking oil imports will be given priority only after 45 days have elapsed since the last consignment was discharged at KOJ.
“However, granting permission would be developed by PBC and circulated to all members including TAOMAC”, he said.
On his part, TPA Director General, Mr Ephraim Mgawe, said the agreement has been designed to decrease tankers dwelling time during discharging of cargo at KOJ. “This MOU is a milestone achievement as it has taken almost one year of talks with TAOMAC”, he said. Mr Mgawe added that testing of fuel will now be done at outer anchorage unlike in the past when the exercise was conducted at KOJ.
The MOU also saw the waiving of outer anchorage charges of $ 15,000 that were imposed recently on tankers which failed to submit manifesto 48 hours before calling at the port.
TAOMAC Chairman who is also the Managing Director of ENGEN Petroleum, Mr Seelan Naidoo, said the deal aims to use the available port resources economically for the betterment of all parties.
“The MOU aims to improve efficiency by cutting dwelling time and ultimately lower pump price”, Mr Naidoo said.
Under the new agreement, dwelling time at KOJ has been cut from an average of 5 days to between an hour and 3 days - but if the tanker carries one type of product. According to the memorandum, payment of wharfage charges must be made 48 hours before berthing and cargo should be declared 72 hours before berthing, short of which will result into the vessel losing her queue seniority.
In the recent years, domestic and transit oil importation have been increasing by 16 % and current imports stand at 250,000 ton per month with the local consignment accounting for 55 % of the total cargo volume. The upsurge has been pushed by the land locked countries, namely Malawi, Burundi, Rwanda, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Speaking at the same occasion, TAOMAC Executive Director, Mr Salum Bisarara, said the deal is a testimony on how the oil marketing companies want to invest in the crucial sector of the economy. KOJ has 4 discharging jetty of which 2 are preserved for delivering diesel and one each for petrol and aviation fuel.
The MOU is not part of the port expansion project expected to be ready in 2012 that will see the KOJ and Single Mooring Point (SPM) improved further to cater for bigger vessels. The MOU is expected to reduce complaints among KoJ users, especially observation of sequence or queue before off-loading their cargo.
Industry sources say lack of guidelines frustrate KoJ operations and efficiency of the port in general, leading to delays which ends up with extra charges and penalties.