The Moscow Times and Steel Guru have reported that Rosneft is looking to build a $700 million oil-products pipeline from Mozambique to Zimbabwe in an unprecedented effort to expand its international reach in to Africa.

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 Trotsenk 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 pipeline has been reported to potentially be extended through to Zambia, Malawi and Botswana.

The existing pipeline from Mozambique has a capacity of 130 million liters a month, which amounts to 1.3 million metric tons or 9.8 million barrels per year. Zimbabwean officials said the new line would carry up to 300 million liters a month.

Zimbabwe’s consumption of oil products is about 5 million tons per year, Trotsenko said.

The African project, Trotsenko stated, is a chance for Rosneft to win a new sales market. He didn’t elaborate.

In other news, Rosneft recently began producing oil in Venezuela as part of an international consortium.

Continued, as excerpted from Steel Guru:

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.

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