15 January 2014, Dar es Salaam – Commercial Petroleum Company of Tanzania (COPEC), a subsidiary of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), is among ten oil marketing firms that risk having their licences revoked for failure to start operations.
The state-owned firm, which was established in 2009, is the one expected to be in charge of the envisaged national strategic petroleum reserve (NPR), whose fate is still unknown.
COPEC was granted a licence to sell petroleum products in bulk by the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) in August 2011 but it has since then failed to take off.
Legislations covering the oil sub-sector require that a company that has been licenced by the industry regulator ought to start operations within six months.
“Yes, it is true that we have written to COPEC regarding the failure to start operations as required by the law,” EWURA Communications Manager Titus Kaguo confirmed to the ‘Daily News’ in Dar es Salaam.
Mr Kaguo noted, however, that any company that is granted a licence and fail to start operations within the required period can be given a special consideration only if it has strong reasons to justify the delay.
Regarding delays on establishment of the NPR, TPDC Board Chairman Michael Mwanda said the process was a lengthy one which required thorough scrutiny.
“We have to conduct due diligence on financial and technical capability of the bidding firms before embarking on the project,” Mr Mwanda told the ‘Daily News’ in a telephone interview.
He added: “It is about making haste slowly as we do not want to repeat some mistakes that were made in the past.” The EWURA publicist was, however, not in a position to mention other firms that also risked having their operating licences revoked.
COPEC had in September 2011 floated a tender for importation of 35,000 tonnes of petroleum products in which six foreign firms and one local company, out of 25 firms which had expressed interest, submitted bids for the lucrative deal.
The TPDC Tender Board, which was in charge of the tendering process, announced later that none of the seven companies qualified for the deal.
– Tanzania Daily News