The government has instructed oil marketing companies to immediately sell the available fuel stocks to upcountry regions to avert serious shortage being experienced there.
Similarly it has ordered the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura) to take disciplinary action against oil companies which had fuel in stock but opted to sell to a few stations operating under contract.
The government decision was made public yesterday in Dar es Salaam by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals Eliakim Maswi after a meeting with Petroleum Importation Coordinator (PIC) and Ewura confirmed there was enough fuel in the country.
“This is the reason behind shortage of fuel in the local market…from now all the available fuel in stocks has to be sold to upcountry fuel dealers who have their tankers parked outside Kurasini depots in Dar es Salaam,” said Maswi at a press conference.
He said the country had enough stocks that could meet the local market demand for between 5 and 10 days with an exclusion of 50 percent of the fuel that was destined to landlocked countries.
The PS disclosed that there were over 23million litres of petrol, 35million litres of diesel, 3million litres for kerosene and over 15million litres for jet oil.
Maswi expressed disappointment at the PIC board for failing to allocate more fuel in the local market, stressing that there was need to import more fuel for the local market.
For his part PIC Board Chairman, Mansoor Sharif acknowledged that the coordinator had played its part by importing the petroleum products, faulting the Tanzania Ports Authority for interfering with the offloading arrangement, leading to delays in distributing fuel to the marketing companies on time.
He said that currently there was a ship christened MMS-Merrelina which was loading over 32 million litres of petroleum products.
He said the coordinator had also arranged for another ship that will arrive in the country by Tuesday, next week.
“We’re proud that effective from November 11, this year, the country will start importing more fuel after the completion of the construction of the SPM dock that can allow loading of over 150,000 tonnes of fuel,” he said.
Eng. Godwin Samwel, Ewura’s Petroleum Director said already some oil marketing companies had started to sell their transit fuel in the local market.
He said upcountry regions which faced fuel shortage should expect the product by today.
“Already some oil tankers which fuelled on Monday were on the way to upcountry regions…Accer Petroleum company has confirmed supplying fuel to Tanga, Iringa, Mwanza, Mbeya and Singida,” he stated.
However the survey conducted at some filing stations in Dar es Salaam showed that the fuel shortage was still persisting in some stations despite the assurance there was enough stock.
The filling stations visited by The Guardian included Oilcom –Mwenge, Kobil along Sam Nujoma road , Oilcom-Victoria, Victoria Service Station and ORYX at Azikiwe, all of which had run out of stocks.