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 26 Mar 2020



Namibians need not worry about a fuel shortage because of the coronavirus lockdown, the authorities have promised.


MITIGATION IN PLACE: The ministry of mines says there is enough fuel available for vehicles. Photo: FILE


The ministry of mines and energy says there is sufficient fuel to supply the country during the lockdown which starts tonight at midnight. A state of emergency was declared last week by President Hage Geingob as a measure to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Petrol commissioner Maggy Shino yesterday said there was no reason for panic about fuel supplies during the partial lockdown, which will severely restrict travel into and out of the Khomas and Erongo regions.

“We indeed have an abundant supply of fuel for the period of the lockdown. If the lockdown period is extended, we have put in measures to ensure that the security of supply is not affected,” Shino said.

Strategic stockpile

A National Petroleum Commission of Namibia (Namcor) official told Namibian Sun that an assessment had been done of how much fuel would be required for it to supply its customers in the oil industry. The official added that fuel imports were seen as critical and would not be stopped from entering the country.

International situation

The same cannot be said for Uganda, which is battling fuel supply shortages.

Finance minister Matia Kasaija says Uganda's fuel reserves are drying up as the quota it imports through Kenya's seaport of Mombasa has been reduced, the East African reported. Kasaija said the country was in talks with Kenya over its dwindling fuel supplies.

“We have raised the issues with the Kenyan authorities and we are doing everything possible to ensure the supply of petrol and diesel is sorted,” Kasaija said.

He attributed the reduction to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus that has forced oil producers in the Middle East to reduce supplies.

Abundant oil

Reuters reported recently that millions of barrels of oil are struggling to find buyers among industrial users and refiners, who have cut operations as the impact of the coronavirus has destroyed demand and a Saudi-Russia market share battle has led to a flood of supply.

Fuel storage rates doubled this month in some onshore European and United States hubs as traders rushed to secure tanks in the hope of selling their products at a higher price when the coronavirus outbreak eases and demand recovers.

SOURCE: Namibian Sun