Cyclone Idai may affect fuel supplies Fuel

AS Zimbabwe seems to be on the verge of yet another fuel crisis, government has rubbished claims there will be another outage in the country. This comes after fuel pumps have been seemingly running dry with local commuter omnibuses draining the frustrated commuting public — hiking bus fare prices by 100 percent under the guise of fuel shortages.

At the same time, one of the country’s largest fuel retailers, Total Zimbabwe, recently released a warning letter of a possible shortage of fuel due to the destruction caused of Cyclone Idai, which left a lot of infrastructure in the Mozambican port city of Beira ruined.

“They (people) should not listen to that but they should listen to what we release as the government ministry responsible for fuel supplies in the country,” said Energy ministry deputy minister Magna Mudyiwa, speaking at the 46th Southern African Power Poll (Sapp) executive committee meeting in Harare.

Cyclone Idai knocked down the Companhiado De Pipeline Mozambique-Zimbabwe (CPMZ) control room at Beira in Mozambique last week, affecting the pumping of fuel and natural gas to Feruka Oil Refinery in Mutare.

CPMZ controls the fuel pipeline from Beira to Feruka in Mutare.
Fuel retailers have already been struggling to keep up with demand and the wrecking of the fuel pipeline from Beira to Zimbabwe could compound the delicate situation. While conditions of the fuel pipeline are yet to be established Mudyiwa said that precautions to safeguard the pipeline had already been taken before the Cyclone closed in.

“The pipeline had been shut down on March 15 in anticipation and as a safety precautionary measure but what we got is that were the pumping is done is where they haven’t resumed pumping,” she said.
Mudyiwa added that the CPMZ is currently working to resuscitate the control room pump while the actual pipeline was not damaged during the cyclone. 

“They are trying to sort out a few challenges that they have been facing and we hope the worst scenario that we can get is that they resume pumping by April 8 but we anticipate that it can be earlier,” Mudyiwa said.

Meanwhile, government has also been struggling to pay heavy foreign currency premiums for fuel imports.
The new Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) which has opened a new exchange rate under the interbank market exchange rate has also compounded the situation and fears of another fuel price hike are looming.

    Comments (1)

    This is obvious, given that the entry point of the pipeline lies submerged in a reported 90% submerged port city of Beira and talk of adequate stocks in reserve is mere parochial hogwash.

    Mukanya - 25 March 2019

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