Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) has assured the public that the country has enough fuel stocks and has cautioned against unnecessary speculation which could lead to panic buying.
In a statement issued on Thursday, signed by Mera board chairperson Leonard Chikadya, the fuel regulator also indicated that prices of fuel have been maintained at K1 150 for petrol; K1 120 for diesel and paraffin at K833.20.
Reads the statement: “The authority would like to assure members of the public that the country’s major importers have in place financial instruments to ensure fuel suppliers continue to roll in to meet national requirements and demand.”
Mera’s statement comes after Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL) and National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) this week also assured Malawians of steady fuel supply during the festive period, parrying fears of a looming fuel crisis.
While the State-owned Nocma said in a statement on Monday that more stocks are being purchased, PIL general manager Martin Msimuko said, in an interview on Tuesday, that it has adequate fuel to complement supply.
Reads part of Nocma’s statement: “Currently, more stocks are being procured in addition to the available stocks at the country’s strategic fuel reserves (SFRs) from both Beira and Dar es Salaam ports.
“Nocma would like to thus request the general public to disregard the false information circulating on social media to the effect that Nocma’s petrol reserves have been depleted.”
According to Nocma, Blantyre and Lilongwe reserves have a holding capacity of 25 million litres each while the Mzuzu facility holds 10 million litres.
On October 12 2021, Nocma deputy chief executive officer Helen Buluma told the Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances that her company is increasing the capacity of its reserves from 60 million to 120 million litres by 2030.
Msimuko, whose company is a consortium of private oil marketing companies, allayed the fuel crisis fears, saying there is no need for Malawians to panic as there are enough stocks and that more are also being procured.
Nocma procures 50 percent of the country’s fuel volumes. It is complemented by PIL.
According to Msimuko, PIL was asked by Mera in September this year to increase its monthly fuel volumes of 20 million litres to around 30 million litres to cover up for Nocma which was failing to import enough fuel.
In that regard, he said there is and will be a steady supply of fuel in the country stressing that Malawians should be at ease.
Currently, the country’s demand for fuel is 1.7 million litres per day from one million in 2015, according to Nocma.