Malawi’s Minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola says issues of fuel shortage in Malawi will remain a thing of the past after the completion of strategic fuel reserves currently being constructed by an Indian contractor Apollo International Limited in the country’s cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
Speaking to reporters at the construction site of Kanengo strategic fuel reserve in Lilongwe on Tuesday, Matola, said once the three sites are completed the strategic reserves will increase the country’s fuel stocks from 12 days to a month and consequently reduce possible fuel stock-outs due to shocks.
“The Kanengo site is expected to have the capacity of 25 million litres just like the one in Blantyre but Mzuzu reserves will have million litres capacity due to low traffic there,” he said.
Matola noted that at the moment, the country fuel stocks are predominantly those in trucks and filling stations, a situation he said is a risk if a problem occurred along the country’s import routes.
He expressed satisfaction with the progress of the construction work of strategic fuel reserves which he said is expected to finish in 18 months times.
“I am impressed looking at the time and season these fuel reserves are being constructed, although it is rainy season am impressed with the work done so far”.
According g to Matola, Malawi’s fuel cover at the moment is 15 days and it will quadruple once the fuel reserves are completed.
The officials of the construction company, said the challenges remain the scarcity of cement saying it takes them time to order cement from outside Malawi.
The reserves are constructed though a loan from Export and Import (Exim) Bank of India after parliament approved a bill authorising the Malawi Government to get a loan for the project.