Fuel reserves to spur economic growth—APM


President Peter Mutharika yesterday commissioned a strategic oil reserve which has a capacity of 60 million litres of fuel to last two months.
According to officials of National Oil Company of Malawi Limited (Nocma), the reserves have been constructed in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
Nocma said the company is currently procuring more fuel and the reserves will be filled in the next two weeks.
Mutharika said the reserves are important as they will spur economic growth.
“The strategic fuel reserves tell us that the government has taken a more strategic control over fuel. Fuel is the lifeline of the economy and, in this world, anyone can cut you off in fuel supply, we want to be ready when such a thing happens.
“Our goal is to keep and manage enough fuel that will caution any shocks to our economy in the case of any eventualities,” Mutharika said.
However, the President forgot to remind the crowd that the idea to build reserves got a strong backing from his predecessor Joyce Banda after former president, Bingu wa Mutharika’s administration grappled with a fuel shortage that crippled the economy.
Nocma Chairperson, Lloyd Muhara, said the reserves will ensure steady supply of fuel with Blantyre and Lilongwe reserving 25 million litres each and Mzuzu stocking 10 million litres.
“With a loan of $26 million from the Exim Bank of India, the government embarked on this ambitious project which we are glad that the President is commissioning but it will also help in developing our economy,” Muhara said.
Currently, the country consumes nearly one million litres of fuel every day.
As of Tuesday, December 5, the country had in stock 35 million litres of diesel and 9.1 million litres of petrol, according to Nocma.
Malawi experienced fuel shortages between 2011 and 2012.

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