Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Binton Kutsaira has directed National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) to construct additional fuel tanks to cater for the growing fuel demand.
He issued the directive when he toured NOCMA’s fuel depot at Matindi in Blantyre, saying unlike in the past, the consumption of fuel has currently increased from one million litres per day to 1.5 million.
The Minister said the situation was worrisome and that it required quick response, noting that there would be no better time than now.
“NOCMA is the backbone of our economy. We need fuel for the country to carry out its various functions,” Kutsaira said.
He added that, “With the fuel tanks available at the moment, the country can only manage to have fuel for one month and two weeks which is not ideal. I am therefore directing you to construct more fuel tanks in all the regions.”
Kutsaira said government does not want to experience a situation where filling stations would run out of fuel, describing such as a thing of the past.
“You would remember in the past where people slept at the filling station because there was no fuel. That happened because our fuel reserve was only one million litres and we need to move with the speed of demand,” he said.
Currently, NOCMA can manage to keep 60 million litres of fuel in its tanks which previously was enough for two months.
But the growing demand is exerting pressure on the oil company to think beyond the current population.
Director of Operations for NOCMA, Micklas Reuben said the company was already working on expanding its fuel tanks.
He said NOCMA has this year allocated funds for consultancy works in its budget where opportunities would be explored on how best the company could expand its fuel reserves.
“The Minister has just hit the nail on the head because we already had the plans of expansion. So, I would say, his sentiments speak to our plans. Very soon we will be launching construction of additional tanks so that we are able to have 90 million litres of fuel in our reserves,” Reuben said.
National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) is a government-owned company and it was established to import, store and manage fuel for the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :