Fuel reserves ready by May, says Nocma


The National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) says works to install fuel offloading meters, a key feature that delayed the commissioning of the country’s Strategic Fuel Reserves, have started and will be completed in May.

In a statement issued on Friday, Nocma said the three strategic fuel reserve facilities in Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre being constructed by government have a combined storage capacity of 60 million litres, which, at current consumption trends, is an equivalent of up to three months of fuel cover for the country.

The Mzuzu and Lilongwe strategic fuel reserve facilities were originally planned to be commissioned in 2015 but the process was postponed in order to install offloading meters, an omission from the initial design of the depots.


Nocma said the initial design of the depots provided for the use of weighbridges and the automatic tank gauging system for measuring product received, but the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) requires the use of offloading meters for measuring product received.

“The meters are now being installed by the contractor Apollo International. It is expected that the installation of offloading meters by the contractor will be completed in May, 2016 and therefore, commissioning of the first depot is expected to be done shortly after completion of the installation,” the statement quotes Nocma chief executive officer, Robert Mdeza.

Meanwhile, upgrading of access roads to bitumen standard suitable for use by fuel tankers to the three depots is underway starting with Lilongwe Depot.


Government recently approved reforms for the country’s liquid fuels sub-sector, which among others, would allow for the designation of Strategic Fuel Reserves as “dry ports” and the introduction of the bulk fuel procurement system.

The reforms, says Nocma, are expected to reduce the cost of procuring fuel in terms of the foreign currency component and should all things remain the same, translate to a lower landed fuel cost into the country.

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