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Nocma seeks investors for Mchinji fuel depot

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GEORGE MHANGO

The National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) has said it is yet to identify an investor for its fuel depots in Mchinji.

Nocma’s Communications Officer, Telephorus Chigwenembe, said contractual issues have delayed the operationalisation of the Mchinji and Chipoka depot in Salima.

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Chigwenembe said Nocma’s depot at Chilumba in Karonga is currently up and running.

The decision to put the three facilities in the hands of private investors was made to allow Nocma to focus its business on the management of the strategic fuel reserves in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu which provide Malawi a two-month fuel cover.

Chigwenembe said, although an investor to run the Chipoka fuel depot has already been identified, a contract is yet to be finalised.

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“In view of the operationalisation of the 60-million litre strategic fuel reserves (Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu combined), a decision was made to let Chipoka and Mchinji be operated by other players through a concession arrangement under Public Private Partnership (PPP).

“As for Mchinji depot, several investors have expressed interest to operate the facility and internal processes are underway to identify a successful bidder and to determine the way forward,” Chigwenembe explained.

He said the contracts with successful bidders would include information regarding refurbishment of the depots.

“As for Chilumba depot—which is operational at the moment—we are also considering letting others manage the facilities under a concession arrangement. Again, this is yet to be concretised,” Chigwenembe said.

The idea to establish Nocma and strategic fuel reserves was hatched after the Malawi economy, in 2011, nearly nosedived in the aftermath of a serious fuel crisis.

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