Zimbabwe’s fuel stocks to last ‘well into 2017’
THE Ministry of Energy and Power Development has quashed reports on social media claiming that fuel will run out this week or early next week.
In a statement, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development Mr Partson Mbiriri assured the nation that the country has adequate fuel supplies to last into next year.
“There is an unfortunate message doing the rounds in social media. The message is claiming that fuel will run out this week or early next week. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“As we have indicated before, the country has fuel stocks to last well into next year. The stocks are in National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe (NOIC) storage tanks and depots,” he said, adding that the country has one of the highest fuel storage capacities in the region, which is reasonably stocked.
He said it was imperative to appreciate that the bulk of the stocks were in bond and once such fuel is paid for, it would be released onto the market.
The Permanent Secretary said this was unlike in the past when such fuel was primarily stored in Beira, Mozambique the bulk of it was now stored in the country.
“It is also important to note that the fuel sector has been liberalised. The private sector now imports the fuel. Fuel imports into the country continue on a daily basis. In this regard, in the month of October 2016, as much as 134 742 962 litres of fuel were imported into the country. The process of importation is continuing unabated,” he explained.
Turning to ethanol, Mr Mbiriri said in the past the country has had challenges regarding the product’s availability during rainy periods.
“Once the black cotton soil in Chisumbanje got sogging wet, it became impossible to continue harvesting sugar cane in the fields. We are better prepared this year such that the product should be available throughout the rain season.
“In order to enhance security of supply, NOIC shall be developing additional storage capacity for ethanol.
“We wish to assure the nation that there is no basis for alleging that the country will go dry in terms of fuel supply. We have adequate fuel stocks in the country. The short term challenge is accessing the bonded fuel in terms of forex,” he said.