Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) says the country’s fuel inflows are not yet at the most optimal level, but there is no cause for alarm.
In an interview yesterday, Mera public relations and consumer affairs manager Fitina Khonje said that from the daily reports they receive from oil marketing companies, on average over 84 percent of replenishment are done on time.
She said: “It is dependent on reported stock out, business transactions between the oil marketing companies and retailers, and other industry level delivery logistics.
“As we stated in December, fuel inflows may not be at the most optimal level, but there is ongoing significant improvement compared to where we were in November.”
Khonje assured that fuel consumption and deliveries are ongoing and that there was no cause for alarm.
A snap check in some of the service stations in Blantyre revealed that some are going for days without supply. The situation is similar in Mzuzu, Mangochi and Lilongwe.
Oil industry sources also hinted that there was verbal communication for oil marketing companies to prioritise major cities in deliveries, a development that is leaving some rural areas going a week without fuel, especially petrol.
Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL) general manager Martin Msimuko said they are importing enough fuel into the country, but Mera would be in a better position to explain the challenge.
Last year, the country faced an adverse fuel shortage owing to dwindling foreign exchange reserves, forcing some oil marketing companies to ration both diesel and petrol.
However, the situation improved by December following improved sources of fuel financing facility at $50 million declared on November 10 2022 and upon sourcing of $10 million from local banks, according to Nocma.
Mera data shows that on average, Malawians use 845 000 litres of petrol and 834 000 litres of diesel daily.
PIL, a consortium of private sector oil marketing companies, and the National Oil Company of Malawi are the major importers of fuel into the country.