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Malawi’s Petroleum Importers Limited assures fuel availability amid security lapse on Beira stretch


LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)—The country’s main fuel carrier, Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL) has assured the general public of availability of fuel despite security lapse along the main Beira root in Mozambique.PIL assurance comes amid social media reports that the country will run out fuel due to the recent Renamo’s rebel attacks on Malawi’s three fuel tankers.

The three fuel tankers were burnt down by rebel fighters recently which raised the general public alarm of insufficient of fuel in the country.

Following the incident, Malawians took it to the social media warning people to start keeping fuel in their homes arguing the commodity will go missing on the market due to the conflict.

But in an exclusive interview with The Maravi Post on Wednesday, Elwell Kadango, PIL’s General Manager while admitting of security lapse on the main route of Beira, assured the nation of the availability of fuel in the country as other routes have been identified to ferry the commodity in Malawi.

Kadango disclosed that currently government through Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) is providing heavy security escort on fuel tankers.

He added that Malawi being a landlocked country, any disturbances that happen along the main route of importing fuel has negative impact on his company’s work.

“Burning down of those three tankers was a really a threat to our operations. But we commend Malawi government for its quick intervention by speaking with her Mozambique counterpart on the matter. Currently, our fuel tankers are always with heavy security escort in and out of the country to make sure that there shouldn’t be any other interruptions.

“We are still using Beira as our main path despite security challenges. However, other roots have been identified including Dari salaam, Nacara and Zimbabwe though are too long. This is to make sure that fuel is available in the country.

“PIL contributes 90% of fuel importation in the country therefore we will continue exploring other sustainable avenues of bringing in fuel without disturbances. We will continue doing this until the country’s fuel strategic reserves are full operational as there will be enough stocks of the commodity,” assured Kadango.

Petroleum Importers Limited is private company tasked with fuel importation in Malawi which has been importing bulk of fuel for the country since 1999. PIL is a wholly owned by the following oil Marketing companies; Puma Malawi, Total Malawi, Petroda Malawi and Engen Malawi Ltds.

Meanwhile, the much awaited strategic three fuel reserves which the Malawi government constructed in a bid to improve fuel security in the country, are ready for commissioning in July 2016, starting with Lilongwe deport while the remaining two (Blantyre and Mzuzu) will follow.

The strategic fuel reserves including Blantyre which has the capacity to store fuel of 25 million litters, Lilongwe will keep 25 million litres while Mzuzu has 10 million litres totaling to 60 million litres, fuel which can sustain the country for 60days.

With the loan of worthy US$26 million from India government, the completion of the three strategic fuel reserves are expected to boost fuel security in the country with 60 million litres, an addition to 15 million litres currently the nation keeps.

Malawi will have 75 million litres for 75 day of fuel cover as the country requires one million litres a day.

National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) Limited which is a government of Malawi wholly owned company is also currently involved in fuel importation as the country’s second largest fuel importer following PIL.

Fuel shortages hit Malawi hard in 2010 and 2011during the Bingu wa Mutharika.

Both occasions put the nation at stand still in business transaction which prompted the Malawi government to construct the strategic fuel reserves to caution the burden.

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