Puma Energy adamant to resolve fuel shortage

Malawi’s largest fuel supplier has assured the public that it will play its role right to make sure that fuel shortages that have rocked the country for over two years now are resolved very soon.

Speaking to the press in Lilongwe Puma Energy Malawi Limited general manager Dr Davies Lanjesi said his company will use proper measures at its pump stations as a way to manage the situation since supplies are flowing into the country.

Puma Energy took over operations from BP Malawi in 2011 and it has fuel stations spread across the country with storage capacity of over 10 days.

“The fire accident in Mzuzu where petrol exploded in a house confirmed our fears that fuel supplies are there in the country but not cars or pump stations but homes, it is for this reason that we will strictly adhere to measures by Mera and we not anymore entertain gallons and drums at our pumps as it is very risky and only powering the black market anyone interested to buy in gallons must approach Mera for permits,” said Lanjesi.

He added that because of risk involved with crowd management Puma Energy will only allow a required number of cars at the pumps.

“With the chaos that is there because of crowds its not easy to manage them and we will have to follow safety standards to allow required numbers of cars to pumps supplies are there but what we must manage is the panic buying,” said Lanjesi.

Mera has also banned any usage of gallons, drums and other containers when buying fuel and has advised those who need to fuel plants, generators and maize mills to approach Mera offices for permits.

Lanjesi was very optimistic that pressure on filling stations will now drastically reduce and return to normal very soon.

Malawi has been going through chronic fuel shortages due to drying forex reserves for the past two years as tobacco earned very little for the Southern African state.

This has been complicated further by the stand-off on whether to devalue the local currency that is viewed as overvalued by IMF.

But Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has told off the IMF on the matter that led to donors withholding their budgetary support pushing forex reserves further down below 1 month of import cover against the basic approved 3 months of import cover.

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