Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) Africa, a Dar es Salaam-based subsidiary of a Dubai emirate-owned oil firm, has laid out plans to invest heavily in terminal and oil storage facilities in its East African home market, aiming to increase its supply across the region.

ENOC Africa was formed as a joint venture company between Petro Ltd., a Tanzanian company, and ENOC Supply and Trading, based in Dubai, though both firms are part of the ENOC Group, which has an annual turnover of $15bn spread across the oil and gas industry.

Arshid Esmail, MD of ENOC Africa, explained that the expansion programme was focused on bridging the gap in petroleum supply and demand that has caused prices in the region to skyrocket, and asserted that its undisclosed investment would help lead to a stabilisation of oil prices.

“We are planning to invest heavily in Tanzania and the East African countries between now and next year as we prepare to tap the booming local and regional markets,” he told Tanzania’s Guardian.

“We have taken note of the steadily increasing trend of economic development of Tanzania and East African region and recognise the need for modern storage facilities in the region,” he continued, adding that such services will be offered to wholesalers at affordable rates.

Countries which will benefit from the storage facilities investments by the firm include Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Zambia and Malawi.

The plans also follow the company’s recent success in a tender to import close to 300,000 tonnes of fuel under Tanzania’s Petroleum Bulk Procurement System (BPS) in October.

Michael Mjinja, GM for the Petroleum Importation Coordinator (PIC), said the tender attracted six oil companies including five international companies, but it was awarded to ENOC Africa after it offered the lowest Weighted Average Premium of $45.771 a tonne.

“ENOC emerged the winner after meeting all the tender requirements and proving that its offer would most benefit the country, traders as well as consumers,” said Mjinja.

ENOC Africa was the first Tanzanian company to win two competitive tenders in February and July this year under the bulk procurement system for national oil consignments.

MD Esmail said at the time, “We believe we can play a major role in sustaining Tanzania’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR),” adding that with the right services and infrastructure Tanzania will have the capacity to respond to any urgent crisis in fuel shortage situations.