The National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) has started receiving and offloading fuel into strategic reserves while waiting for the official commissioning of the facilities.
Nocma spokesperson Telephorus Chigwenembe has confirmed the development, saying fuel tankers started arriving in the country in May and that some are already offloading fuel at Kanengo Depot in Lilongwe.
Chigwenembe said, so far, over 2.2 million litres of fuel have been offloaded, assuring the nation of continuous supply of petroleum products in the foreseeable future.
“Commissioning and arrival of fuel are not dependent on each other. We can receive and stock fuel to make the depots operational even before the inauguration of the reserves as long as the storage facilities are certified fit,” Chigwenembe said.
Chigwenembe said the stocking of fuel in the reserves is what will give Malawians assurance on security of supplies
Using a line of credit of about $26.5 million from Exim Bank of India, Malawi embarked on a project to construct fuel reserves in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu to ensure security and stability of fuel supplies in the country.
The strategic reserves in Lilongwe and Blantyre have the capacity of 25 million litres each while the Mzuzu site has a capacity of 10 million litres, totalling 60 million litres.
This gives the country 60 days of fuel cover, an improvement from the current 10 days.
“In our plans, the Lilongwe depot was earmarked to be the first to become operational followed by Blantyre and then Mzuzu,” Chigwenembe said.
Meanwhile, Nocma has said the 50-50 fuel importation quota between Nocma and Petroleum Importers Limited will strengthen the country’s capacity to be fuel-secure.
“All players involved in the negotiations that helped us to come to this point should be commended for this outcome,” Chigwenembe said.
Nocma said it is still working out selling modalities and that, once that is approved, an announcement would be made.
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