National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) has unveiled plans to increase the country’s fuel cover from about 45 days to 90 days through a project estimated to cost K18 billion.
Nocma deputy chief executive officer Helen Buluma disclosure this
yesterday when her institution appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances and Public Sector Reforms to explain efforts being undertaken to increase the country’s fuel storage capacity.
She said demand for fuel in the country has increased from one million litres per day in 2015 to 1.7 million litres. She said the demand has left the country struggling to achieve the standard 90 days fuel cover.
Buluma said Nocma is working to increase the capacity of its reserves from 60 million to 120 million litres by 2023.
She said the reserves will be constructed in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
Buluma said: “We have engaged consultants to do the works and designs. Those designs and works will be completed by March 2022. We hope construction will start in April 2022.
“The project in total will cost K18 billion. The capacity to be increased is 60 million litres. So, we will have 20 million [litres] for Matindi depot in Blantyre, 20 million [litres] for Kanengo depot in Lilongwe and 20 million [litres] for Sonda depot in Mzuzu.”
But she said the growing vehicle population could affect the planned fuel cover.
During the meeting, she also updated the committee on works being done to connect the fuel reserves to the railway so that fuel is delivered by rail. She said the Lilongwe depot was now
connected while the Blantyre depot was yet to be connected to rail.
Buluma said using rail will help in cutting transportation costs.
Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurance and Public Sector Reforms chairperson Noel Lipipa expressed satisfaction with measures that Nocma is taking to improve fuel cover and reduce transport costs.
Currently, Blantyre and Lilongwe reserves have holding capacity of 25 million litres each while the Mzuzu facility holds 10 million litres