Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) on Saturday issued a statement on the current status of fuel supplies following shortage of the commodity for the three days.
In the statement MERA said the country has secured 10 million litres of fuel which may last about 10 days.
“9.3 million Litres of diesel are at Beira and Nacala ports in Mozambique and Dare salaam port in Tanzania while 700,000 litres of petrol are at Dar salaam port. At the moment 16 tankers of Petrol arrived in the country while 30 others of both Petrol and Diesel are on the way and will arrive in the country over this weekend.” reads the statement in part.
The country’s fuel requirement is about one million litres per day, meaning that this fuel supply will last for ten days.
The MERA statement comes amid long queues at filling stations especially in the capital Lilongwe.
The on-going fuel shortage also comes five months after President Joyce Banda took over government and renewed relations with donors, a development that gave Malawians hope of an end to the problem.
MERA said the fuel supply hiccup was due to logistical challenges that suppliers at the port of Beira in Mozambique have been facing to load tankers destined for Malawi.
“Petroleum Importers Limited has already arranged further financial instruments to secure 17 million litres in the coming week to ensure stability of supplies in the country,
“This week, however, PIL suppliers at the port of Beira have been facing logistical challenges to load tankers destined for Malawi. The main cause has been technical malfunctions at the loading gantry where fuel is loaded,” reads the statement adding;
“The engineers have been working tirelessly to resolve the electrical fault. Meanwhile loading has been planned for tomorrow to make up for the lost time during the week. The reduced loading during this week in Beira has resulted into significant reduction of fuel stocks in the country.”
The statement further said MERA shall provide continuous updates so that the general public is made aware of the status of fuel coming into the country.
Media reports indicate that government owes local oils firms close to K12 billion through unpaid under-recovery money, accumulated during the late Bingu wa Mutharika regime when the fuel shortage was so critical.