State oil firm makes tests on fuel storage facilities

State oil firm, the National Oil Company says it has started testing its US$6 million fuel storage facilities, an indication that they are finished and severe shortages of fuel would now be history.

A fuel reserve in Matindi, Blantyre
A fuel reserve in Matindi, Blantyre

National Oil Company public relations officer Trephorous Chigwenembe said tests for the strategic fuel reserves would be done at Kanengo facilities in Lilongwe, then Blantyre and Mzuzu.

“We already did the preliminary tests and this is the second and final test,” he said.

He said the initial test involved water whilst the final test will involve the fuel itself before being certified by experts for use. He said the final tests in Lilongwe will be done on May 30.

The Lilongwe and Blantyre strategic fuel reserves have a capacity of 25 million litres of fuel each whilst the Mzuzu strategic fuel reserve has a capacity of 20 million litres.

The strategic fuel reserves are the brain child of former president Bingu wa Mutharika who wanted to ease fuel scarcity the country was facing following the slump in the economy from 2011 which led to severe scarcity of forex which is used to import fuel.

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