National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) says it has started works to increase fuel storage capacity from the current 60 million litres to 120 million litres by the year 2023.
NOCMA deputy chief executive officer Hellen Buluma revealed this on Tuesday when officials from the company met the Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances and Public Reforms.
Buluma said they met with the committee to report on the reforms that they have been working on and these reforms include increasing NOCMA’s storage capacity and rehabilitating rail lines.
“We reported to the committee that we are in the process of increasing storage capacity from the current 60 million litres to 120 million litres by the year 2023. We have already started works on designs and this is to ensure that we are able to meet demands of fuel in Malawi which has risen from those storage facilities that are presently available which were constructed in 2015.
“We also discussed on the issue to do with Transporters Association of Malawi and the committee has urged us to negotiate with Transporters association and we will see how best we can do that moving forward,” said Buluma.
Chairperson of the Committee Noel Lipipa who is also Member of Parliament for Blantyre City South Constituency said they discussed few things and how best they can try to avoid the situation that happened last week because they don’t want the economy grounded.
Lipipa said they urged NOCMA to engage Transporters Association of Malawi to see how best they can avoid disruption of fuel supply such as the one which happened recently after a strike by drivers.
“So, we discussed very important issues on how best they can engage the MDF or engage the Transporters Association of Malawi to make sure they don’t take advantage of the situation and then try to ground the economy.
“We wouldn’t tell NOCMA to buy their own tankers because that will be killing business for others. I think the best solution is where they keep on negotiating between themselves and the Transporters Association, everything is done through mediation and all that so we hope they take the advice we have given them and hope that we avoid the incidents such as that one that happened last week,” said Lipipa.
Lipipa also welcomed the move to increase its fuel storage capacity from 60 Million to 120 million litres by 2023.
“As a committee we are very happy with NOCMA that they are rehabilitating the railway line and they have already increased the storage capacity and they have actually invited the committee to go and see for ourselves when the program is done. So, to us these are great developments which a country needs right now because we are growing and we need to improve some of our developments,” said Lipipa.