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Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR)
Public Statement on the Current Fuel Supply Shortage in Bots...
21/12/10
Public Statement on the Current Fuel Supply Shortage in Botswana The public will have noticed that there is a shortage of fuel (diesel and petrol) supply in the country. The shortage is due to the planned maintenance shutdown of some of the refineries in the Republic of South Africa and the reduced operational capacity of the Durban-Gauteng fuel pipeline which terminates at Tarlton Depot.

 

1.    The public will have noticed that there is a shortage of fuel (diesel and petrol) supply in the country. The shortage is due to the planned maintenance shutdown of some of the refineries in the Republic of South Africa and the reduced operational capacity of the Durban-Gauteng fuel pipeline which terminates at Tarlton Depot.

 

2.    Fuel supply to Botswana is done by multinational oil companies, who get most of their product from the Tarlton depot, which is dedicated to supplying amongst others, Botswana.

 

3.    Furthermore Engen and Sasol in South Africa had planned shut downs for maintenance from October 2010. The Sasol refinery is now operational as maintenance has been completed, whilst the Engen refinery is still out of operation and is anticipated to come back on stream around February 2011.

 

4.    The unavailability of products from these refineries and the reduced capacity of the pipeline by almost 80% have resulted in reduced supplies into Botswana since the end of October 2010. Fuel supplies have slowly been reducing, with the week beginning 6th December 2010 being the worst so far.

 

 

5.    Due to the outlined constraints the country has a shortfall of about 42%. Botswana will be met by supplies of about 5 million per week from Mozambique and 8 million litres from South Africa that is expected this week.  This should ease the rationing by fuel suppliers of available fuel between their commercial and retail customers and this is why some filling stations have been running dry.

 

6.    Meanwhile government has put in place measures to ensure that essential economic and critical services are kept functioning. As of the, 14th  of December government has authourized the release of about 5 692 7000 litres of diesel and 374 000 litres of petrol from the Government Strategic Reserve Stocks to be supplied  to essential and critical services throughout the country ( e.g. power stations, hospitals, security services, CTO, mines) .  This fuel will be drawn from the government Strategic Oil Storage Depots whose main purpose is to mitigate the effects of fuel supply shortages mainly to maintain essential and crucial economic services.     

 

7.   The public is encouraged to use the available petroleum resources prudently, employ fuel saving measures and desist from stock piling fuel as well as panic buying, as this might worsen the situation. The public should therefore remain calm, as Government is doing everything possible to ease the supplies situation.

 

8.   For the medium to long term solutions, among others the government has been exploring the option of getting fuel supplies into Botswana through other routes in the last few months. To this end the Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources has had bilateral talks with his counterparts in Mozambique and Namibia to open up new supply routes and sources for Botswana. This was necessitated by the need to diversify our sources of supply and routes as a country to ensure that if one route has a problem, then they will be other alternatives.   

 
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