MERA reiterates assurance of adequate fuel supply across Malawi

The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) has reiterated that Malawi has adequate petroleum products, stressing that motorists should not need to panic over fake social media reports that there is fuel stockout.

MERA Chief Executive Officer Henry Kachaje addressed journalists in Lilongwe on Friday where he dismissed speculations that the country has run out of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), petrol, diesel and paraffin.

Kachaje–Motorists should not panic over fake news being peddled by social media enthusiasts–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

On Thursday, the social media was abuzz with rumours about fuel shortage, citing Mzuzu, as one of the areas heavily affected by the stockout.

However, Kachaje assured that there is no cause for alarm, as the country has adequate supplies of the precious liquid commodity.

Kachaje disclosed that 93 percent of service stations in the country have fuel, and that only seven percent have insufficient commodity due to some logistical challenges.

But Kachaje has admitted that petrol levels have somehow gone down because of the maintenance work at Beira Port in Mozambique during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

He said there is congestion at the port and the ships are expected to start offloading from next week and 50 trucks will be bringing petrol

MERA press briefing in progress at the Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

“Malawians need to understand that fuel business is no different from other businesses, therefore is bound to encounter some challenges,” he said, adding that MERA is currently monitoring the situation to ensure is steady supply of fuel across the country.

Kachaje further stated that maintenance at the Beira Port in Mozambique caused congestion, as ships had not yet docked at the port to offload over the festive season, with some Malawian trucks now loading.

The presser comes barely a week after MERA issued a statement in which its Board Chairperson Leonard Chikadya also assured motorists and the public at large that the country’s major importers have put in place financial instruments to ensure fuel supplies continue to roll in to meet national requirements and demand.

“The Authority would like to inform the general public that the prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Petrol, Diesel and Paraffin have not been revised and that there are adequate fuel stocks in the country.

“Following an assessment of the effect of the movement of Free-On-Board prices, the exchange rate of Malawi Kwacha against major trading currencies and changes in local factors, the MERA Board has resolved to maintain prices of LPG, Petrol, Diesel and Paraffin as established in October 2021.

“The prices have been maintained as follows: petrol @ K1, 150, diesel @ K1, 120, kerosene @ K833.20 and LPG @ K2, 175 per kilogramme,” reads the statement in part.

Chikadya has since appealed for an end to unnecessary speculation which could cause anxiety and panic buying.

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