Brace for a fuel crisis, NOCMA warns Malawi

National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) has warned that Malawi is on the brink of a fuel crisis.

NOCMA deputy chief executive officer Helen Buluma said the crisis which could begin by end June will be caused by delay to award contracts for supply of fuel.

The company currently does not have contracts with suppliers and Buluma said 2020/2021 contracts are yet to be awarded due to disagreements between NOCMA and Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) over the procurement process.

She also complained about political interference in the procurement process.

NOCMA is wholly owned by Malawi Government and is mandated to manage Malawi`s strategic fuel reserve facility, promote competition in the oil and gas industry and promote oil and gas exploring activities.

In January, MERA stopped NOCMA from awarding contracts to two suppliers who were identified following bids from 23 companies.

The authority said MERA should among other things re-evaluate the bids in a transparent manner and ensure that there is a clear link between the prices of fuel in the contracts and the prices that were announced when the bids were opened.