Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL), a consortium of four oil marketing companies has secured $13 million for fuel importation amid the escalating fuel crisis the country is facing.
However, this is $9 million short of the required amount to bring into the country about 22 million litres of fuel which the country consumes in a month.
PIL General Manager Martin Msimuko said in an interview yesterday that they have managed to secure the $13 million from local banks and urged the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) to help them with the remaining $9 million to get the required amount of fuel into the country.
“PIL has been bringing enough fuel for the companies that we import for amidst the foreign exchange challenges in the country. In terms of the numbers, I can confirm that in the eight months to August 2022, we as PIL have imported 140m litres for our customers Puma, Total Energies, Petroda and Vivo and this is representing 56% of total imports which is 6% more than our 50% share. This indicates that we are covering up for others in this regard. This is in accordance with the SFR regulations for 2018,” added Msimuko.
National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) is also mandated by law to import another 50% of fuel and the company’s deputy chief executive officer Hellen Buluma told members of the Parliamentary committee on Industry, trade and Tourism that they have secured $10 million from National Bank of Malawi (NBM), $18 million from Standard Bank, 17.5 million Euros from FDH Bank and $8 million from NBS Bank for fuel importation.
Msimuko said they have noted the imbalance of the allocation of the forex and that they have raised the concern and are following up with the banks for the same type of assistance so that PIL can adequately import fuel for the country.
“Due to rising world oil prices Letters of Credit (LC) facilities are getting utilized quickly, we are having to wait for room in the facilities to issue more LCs. We currently have secured $13m for September supplies which is $9m short of our monthly needs. We currently need $22m to import monthly requirements for our four customers. Clearly, we also need support from RBM for us to bring the required volumes,” said Msimuko.
Asked what PIL is doing to sort out the current fuel crisis in the country, Msimuko said they are working around the clock to source adequate forex to sort out the situation.
“We are working around the clock to find adequate foreign exchange and we have engaged our local banks, the central bank and other international banks to avail the foreign exchange required and we are hopeful that we will succeed.”
“With the amount already sourced, we are bringing in over 8 million litres of fuel, which has already started arriving in the country and we are confident that the situation will normalize as soon as we get the facilities we are pursuing. We would like to thank the Reserve Bank of Malawi for the support they rendered to enable us access funds with one of the banks and would seek their continued support to unlock the extra $20 million . This facility is very crucial to unlock more volumes for us,” explained Msimuko.