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PIL resumes rail fuel haulage

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Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL) has resumed the transportation of fuel through rail, a development the company says will help cut transportation costs by about 15 percent.

PIL General Manager Martin Msimuko said Wednesday that bringing fuel through rail helps the company bring more cargo, at a high speed and save costs compared to road transport system.

Msimuko added that the company is pushing for the rehabilitation of the railway up to Lilongwe so that importing and distributing fuel to all regions of the country is made easy.

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“Bringing the product by rail is reducing costs because we have more wagons that can carry fuel at once as compared to a situation where we use trucks and our aim is to be bringing 20 percent of our products by rail from the current 15 percent,” he said.

Nacala Logistics Commercial and Marketing Manager Kennedy Kwerani said rehabilitation of the rest of the railway system is at an advanced stage and will be completed soon.

He added that their capacity to import fuel exceeds the 20 percent which is recommended by law and the company will import more and lobby for a change of the law so that it can be transporting up to 50 percent by rail.

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Total Energies Operations Manager George Nyondo expressed happiness at the resumption of the rail importation of fuel indicating that it also improves the availability of the product.

“We have made massive investment in rehabilitating our rail sidings and the wagons are fast in terms of receipts because they are faster to offload as compared to trucks,” he said.

Malawi’s fuel is mostly imported by road through Beira in Mozambique and other ports.

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