The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) says the Zambia-Zimbabwe route currently being used to import fuel is a temporary measure as the country still monitors the situation in Mozambique.
Malawi started importing fuel through Zimbabwe’s pipeline and ferry it home by road via Zambia following escalated violence between government and armed rebels in Mozambique.
The decision was reached at by stakeholders in the petroleum industry after gangs of militia burnt to ashes three Malawian tankers carrying petrol from the Indian Ocean port of Beira.
Mera spokesperson Fitina Khonje, in an interview said route assessments by the authority and other stakeholders compelled them to introduce the Zimbabwe route while monitoring the situation on the Beira route.
“Some tankers are using the Zimbabwe–Zambia route. However, there is preference to exit Zimbabwe through the Nyamapanda Border via Tete. In addition, the Beira route continues to be used as the Mozambican government is providing armed escort,” explained Khonje.
She also said a team of stakeholders travelled to Tanzania to assess the possibility of increasing imports through the northern corridor which she said was effective and efficient due to the government storage facilities in Dar es Salaam and Mbeya that are managed by the Malawi Cargo Centre Limited (MCCL).
“The facilities have been undergoing rehabilitations that are almost through. Once ready for use all fuel requirements will pass through these facilities.
“Presently, all routes are operational and there is uninterrupted flow of fuel into the country. We will continue to apply the optimum route mixing to ensure that fuel is landed into the country at the least cost possible and to ensure that disruptions along any route do not affect fuel supplies into the country,” she said.
Chairperson of Transporters Association 2016 Malawi Sameer Sulemani said the situation along the Beira route has been calm with no reports of attacks being registered lately.
“It would appear the situation is now returning to normal because there have been no fresh reports of attacks on our trucks. The drivers are able to drive to and from Beira without reports of attacks,” said Sulemani yesterday.