TAZAMA Fuel pumpingBarrett Communications has supplied high frequency (HF) communications system to TAZAMA Pipeline Limited who manage the pumping of petroleum from Tanzania into land locked Zambia.

The pipeline was established in 1966 by a joint agreement between the governments of Tanzania and Zambia who created TAZAMA Pipelines Limited to manage the pipeline operation. Today TAZAMA pumps crude oil 1,710km from Dar-Es-Salaam to the Ndola Fuel Terminal. This pipeline is a life line to land locked Zambia providing fuel for the whole country and is of important strategic value.

Reliable communications is absolutely vital in managing the pumping between Tanzania and Zambia. TAZAMA have been using the Barrett 900 Series for many years, which has provided a reliable and continuous communications service. TAZAMA recently upgraded their whole network with Barrett 2050 HF transceivers utilising data, email and voice.

In January 2012, TAZAMA engineers attended operator and installation training at the Barrett Europe office located in Whiteley, Hampshire in the United Kingdom. In February 2012, the work to upgrade their existing communications network was undertaken by the TAZAMA Engineers, which involved visiting ten separate locations in two countries. By the end February the work was completed and the network was operational.

TAZAMA needs to maintain voice, data and email communications continuously, as pumping crude oil is a 24-hours-per-day, seven-days-per-week operation. HF radio communication is the only reliable communications source that can link the ten remote sites. Land line telephones are not reliable or available, satellite communications are far too expensive and cellular mobile technology is not available in all locations.

Howard Kirrane, technical support manager at Barrett Europe who trained the TAZAMA engineers was recently visiting Zambia and was invited by TAZAMA Pipelines Ltd to inspect their newly installed communications network. Howard said: "I was amazed to find out the crude oil is pumped over pipeline from the Single Point Mooring terminal in the harbour at Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania to the refinery located in Ndola, Zambia a distance of almost 2,000 kilometres.

"The original design was for throughput of 1.1mt per year. The pipeline provides fuel to land locked Zambia and sub region, any reduction in supply would have a potential impact on the whole country. HF communications is extremely vital to TAZAMA’s operations."

Andrew Burt, general manager at Barrett Europe, said: "It is great to see our clients returning to upgrade their still operational communication systems many years after the initial installation."