Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fuel problem to ease, situation under control

Malawi's Energy Minister Grain Malunga says his officers are working around the clock to normalise the fuel situation. Pic exclusively by Malawi Digest.

By Chikondi Chiyembekeza/The Nation

The Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL), a consortium of five private companies that import fuel, on Wednesday said the shortage of the commodity being experienced in the country is expected to ease by Friday after millions of litres loaded in Mozambique and Tanzania arrive in the country, Thursday.

Giving a breakdown of Malawi-bound fuel, PIL general manager Robert Mdeza said 1.1 million litres diesel were loaded in Beira and 600,000 litres at Nacala port both in Mozambique while 473 000 litres were loaded at Dar es Salaam in Tanzania on Wednesday.

A consignment of 276 000 litres of petrol and 200,000 litres of paraffin was also loaded at Beira port Wednesday.

“The 17 (rail) wagons loaded at Nacala departed on Tuesday morning and are expected in Blantyre on Thursday evening. Mbeya (on the border between Tanzania and Malawi) received 21 wagons, about 1.178 million litres of diesel via Tazara and was also loaded on Tuesday destined for Malawi,” said Mdeza.

He said with the expected consignment on Thursday, next week fuel companies will just be restocking the commodity because by then the situation will have normalised.

Mdeza said the fuel coming into the country could be enough but that there is “panic buying” by some customers and unscrupulous traders who are making a kill out of the situation.

“There is a secondary market of fuel that is re-emerging due to the shortage. But those who are stock-pilling the fuel are just wasting their time because the situation will normalize,” he said.

According to PIL schedule seen by this reporter, as at November 30, one truck each with a capacity of over 600,000 litres of diesel delivered the commodity at BP and Total filling stations and three trucks at Petroda in the Southern Region.

In the Central Region, three trucks dispatched diesel at a Total filling station, one at a Chevron and two at Petroda. The Northern Region did not receive any consignment of fuel, according to the schedule.

In terms of petro, the PIL schedule indicates that only one truck offloaded petrol at a Total filling station in Blantyre.

This means that six trucks entered the through Muloza, two in Mwanza and seven at Dedza, with 14 trucks for diesel and one for petrol.

The PIL schedule also shows that 700,000 litres of that arrived in 18 wagons on Saturday November 28, was all consumed on Sunday in Blantyre alone.

Malawi buys most of its fuel from BP Singapore which supplies about 70 percent of the commodity. The rest is supplied by Petromoc.

Meanwhile, the PIL says it will address a news conference any day this week to give an update on the fuel situation.

In a related development, Malawi’s Information and Civic Education Minister Leckford Thotho has assured the public that government is doing everything possible to normalize the fuel shortage situation.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the official government spokesperson said that stakeholders in the fuel industry including government are working around the clock to make sure that the country is supplied with fuel.

“We appeal to the public to avoid creating panicking situations as millions of litres of fuel are on their way into Malawi,” said the Minister.

Thotho said that he has been in touch with his Natural Resources, Energy and Environment couterpart Grain Malunga who did assure the government spokesperson that everything was being done to normalize the situation-The Nation/Malawi Digest.

1 comment:

  1. MALAWI i beg your attention for a while,the leadership we had under the UDF regime was far much better than this hell of time we going through interms of fuel crisis. We have never gone through this before and yet the government does not want to accept the wrong doing. It has never been any governments priority on politics than the welfare of its beloved citizens, and if at all the going gets as such i do not see any prosperity in succession of the MG1s' BROTHER.Malawi let us jack-up than just dance to these bed time stories from the state. And i would have loved the most that he contents so as he loses miserably.... Tamachitani manyazi zinazi