07.10.15. Ethiopia and Djibouti have signed an agreement for a US$1.55 billion fuel pipeline with Black Rhino Group, backed by Mining, Oil & Gas Services and Blackstone Group LP, according to Bloomberg.

The two countries in the Horn of Africa signed framework agreements on Tuesday for construction of the 550km pipeline to transport diesel, gasoline and jet fuel from Djibouti port to central Ethiopia, the companies said.

The pipeline will transport refined oil products from the port to storage facilities in Awash, Ethiopia, near the capital Addis Ababa.

Currently, Ethiopia imports fuel through the Djibouti port and road tankers then transport the jet fuel, diesel and gasoline. Some 500 trucks a day deliver product to the load centre, travelling 800km of narrow two lane road.

Ethiopia’s demand for refined oil products is growing at a rate of around 15 percent a year. Compared with historically similar countries on a similar development path, Ethiopia’s demand for fuel will continue to increase at approximately 20 percent annually.

In another move, French group Rubis is entering the fuel distribution business in Djibouti. The group won the invitation to tender for the assets and Total-branded business in the strategically located country.

Under the agreement Rubis will take control of the largest fuel distributor in Djibouti, which is present in the fuelling station, commercial, aviation, marine and lubricants markets, representing a yearly volume of over 100,000 cbm.

It could also open up future opportunities to Rubis in bulk liquid storage for imports to and exports from the country, as well as fuel distribution.

8th October 2015