Government has illegally sold National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) to a company owned by a Swedish oil billionaire, it has emerged.
According to reports, billionaire Tobjörn Törnqvist’s Gunvor Group will pay government $500 million in order to operate fuel reserves in Mchinji, in a deal that contravenes Malawi’s energy laws.
Gunvor Group expressed interest to operate the facility and internal processes are underway to finalize the contract.
In the proposed agreement, it said that Gunvor will begin to transport fuel into the country from Nacala in Mozambique on behalf of Nocma.
It is believed that Guvnor was given preferential treatment because of the alleged internal interests from Nocma CEO Mr. Gift Dulla.
“The foreign hauling company is not registered with Mera or IHB, who is the broker. In this case Gunvor will operate without Mera’s licence which is a violation of Energy Laws and all their payments are done in United States dollars, a scarce resource for our country which must be preserved and not wasted as is the current case,” a source said.
After signing a contract with Malawi Government, Gunvor Group will be issued with licences which will include fuel importation, transportation, wholesale and retail fuel trade, production, storage and bulk fuel purchase.
There are concerns that such an arrangement would be monopolistic and will take ordinary Malawians out of business.
Gunvor is a company which has heavy links to Gennady Timchenko which is under United States sanctions.