Tanzania and Zambia are to negotiate a new deal for transport of refined oil and natural gas. The talks will center around either modernizing the existing 1,710km Tazama pipeline, which transports crude oil from the Dar es Salaam port to Zambia, or building a parallel pipeline for gas, reported The East African.

The subject has been in discussion since 2015, as Tanzania Invest informed. Tanzania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, East African Regional and International Co-operation, Augustine Mahiga, said the project will be at the top of the agenda when President John Magufuli hosts his Zambian counterpart President Edgar Lungu on a state visit.

The pipeline is a joint company of both countries, in which Zambia holds 66.7%, and Tanzania 33.3%. Commissioned in 1968, Tazama pipeline was designed for a throughput of 1.1 million tons per year and is currently it is handling approximately 600,000 tons annually.

The new project, if endorsed, will enable the transportation of crude oil, refined oil and natural gas.