Minister of Energy & Minerals Sospeter Muhongo said a $1.225 billion loan had been agreed with China’s Exim Bank.

This echoed Minister of Finance William Mgimwa’s earlier revelation that the loan had been agreed in principle, to be chanelled through the state-owned Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).

Construction of the pipeline is expected to begin this year. It will run from Mnazi Bay via Songo Songo in Lindi to Dar es Salaam.

However, confusion remains as to the exact diameter proposed, especially in light of recent ­discoveries totalling more than 100 trillion cubic feet by various international operators off the Tanzanian and Mozambican coasts.