Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) has put in place measures to help lessen the effects of fuel and gas shortages in the country.
Speaking during the launch of the National Fuel and Gas Emergency Response Plan on Friday in Lilongwe, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Aggrey Masi said the blueprint, which will be implemented by Mera, will help the country to absorb shocks that accompany fuel shortages.
He said even though the country has maintained adequate and steady supply of petroleum products, there is need to enhance the country’s state of preparedness for eventualities.
“Together, we can work to alleviate such problems by locating or identifying alternative supplies, arranging more flexible delivery arrangements, adjusting regulatory requirements, or encouraging intra-industry sharing of available supplies,” said Masi.
The minister said the plan will help to ensure that any impending disruption to liquid fuels and gas is responded to in the most efficient manner.
Between 2010 and 2012, the country faced acute shortage of fuel due to lack of foreign exchange, a development that affected the transport sector and entire economy.
Mera vice-board chairperson Khwauli Msiska said in times of disruptions, business comes to a standstill and delivery of essential services is affected.
“[During the time of the fuel crisis], there was uncoordinated response among stakeholders and lack of emergency preparedness and response plan, inadequate communication relayed to the public and traffic control at retail service stations which led to chaos among consumers,” he said.
Malawi’s fuel demand is estimated at a minimum of 482 million litres per year, according to Mera.
The fuel is imported through the ports of Nacala and Beira in Mozambique and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.