Zimbabwe signs R19 billion fuel pipeline deal with British firm

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Zimbabwe has signed a $1.3 billion (R19 billion) joint venture agreement with British-based Coven Energy to develop a fuel pipeline from the Mozambican port city of Beira to the capital city Harare, the minister of information said on Wednesday.

Monica Mutsvangwa said the pipeline would compliment the existing one that also links Harare and Beira and make landlocked Zimbabwe a fuel hub for the southern Africa region.

"The pipeline will be built over four years at an estimated cost of $1.3 billion. The partnership will be for a period of 30 years," Mutsvangwa said during a post-Cabinet briefing.

Unlisted Coven Energy will form a 50-50 joint venture company with state-owned National Oil and Infrastructure Company, Mutsvangwa said.

Zimbabwe has struggled with acute shortages of fuel due to perennial shortages of foreign exchange but supplies have improved in recent months after the government allowed companies to sell the commodity in U.S. dollars.

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