Govt moves into bulk fuel imports

Govt moves into bulk fuel imports
Published: 23 September 2018 (186 Views)
The intermittent fuel supply bottlenecks occasionally witnessed in some parts of the country have jolted Government into considering venturing into bulk fuel importation to ensure steady availability of the commodity.

Government liberalised the fuel sector in 1999 following the supply challenges experienced at that time, and allowed several players, including locals, to participate in bulk fuel importation.

Top multi-national firms such as BP & Shell, Caltex and Total, used to dominate the fuel sector before its democratisation.

Currently, 57 companies are understood to be licensed to engage in bulk fuel importation but only six are thought to be active players, resulting in occasional shortages.

Through Genesis Energy, a subsidiary of the National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe (NOIC), Government wants to get back to the space given the centrality of fuel in the country.

Experts say industry — mining, manufacturing and agriculture, among others — consume 60 percent of all fuel imported into the country, thereby making the sector critical.

Outgoing Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Mr Partson Mbiriri exclusively told The Sunday Mail Business after NOIC's 4th annual general meeting last week that the fuel sector is too important to be solely left in the hands of the private sector.

"Basically, Genesis is intended, once fully established, to focus on bulk importation of fuel," said Mr Mbiriri.

". . . 100 percent of our fuel is currently being imported by private players. Most of that being international companies. It exposes us as a country to lots of insecurity and we certainly cannot just sit back on account of the fact that we have liberalised the sector.

"Yes, it was liberalised when there were challenges with respect to accessing foreign currency but we need to prioritise the importation of fuel into the country."

He explained that any fuel stocks in the country should have a significant public ownership.

Government also wants a significant stake in fuel retailing, which is already being done by Petrotrade (Private) Limited, which was set up in 2010 after the unbundling of the then National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim).

Petrotrade has a few service stations across the country and has a US$15 million budget to erect 10 more in the next two years, to increase its footprint.

Said Mr Mbiriri: "We should equally have some significant market share in retailing. Remember, fuel is not just a strategic commodity, it is a security commodity and its availability can have a telling effect on the well-being of the country and for that reason, it is important that we participate in the sector as the public sector.

"Going forward, Genesis is envisaged as an important player to that end."

Genesis started fuel trading last year.

Meanwhile, as Petrotrade seeks to broaden its reach, Cabinet has proposed to partially privatise the firm.

Government wants to retain the majority stake in the business. The value of the stake to be sold is yet to be determined.

The process to hunt for a suitable partner has already started.

Said Mr Mbiriri: "Because of the sensitivities attendant to fuel, you may get an attractive offer but from the wrong person. Or you may get an attractive offer but from someone who you know for a fact is leading you up a garden path.

"So there should be these considerations going forward."

Last year, NOIC recorded a profit after tax of US$14,2 million and declared a dividend of US$3,5 million to Government.

The dividend was US$600 000 more than the US$2,9 million declared in 2016.

Revenue also increased by 101 percent to US $219 million last year from US$109 million in 2016.

- zimpapers

Tags: Govt, Fuel, Imports,
 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Jilted man jailed for setting mother-in-law's house ablaze

by Simbarashe Sithole | 24 June 2019 | 55 Views

Another soldier in the suspected armed robbery nabbed

by Simbarashe Sithole | 24 June 2019 | 75 Views

Mnangagwa to open EU-UN Wildlife Economy Summit

by Staff Reporter | 24 June 2019 | 61 Views

Zimbabwe has enough forex, says Chamisa

by Staff Reporter | 24 June 2019 | 76 Views

US tells Mnangagwa to stop interfering with trade unions

by Staff Reporter | 24 June 2019 | 63 Views

Civil servants get pay rise

by Staff Reporter | 24 June 2019 | 77 Views

Nurses call off strike

by Staff Reporter | 24 June 2019 | 51 Views

Arrest thieving Zifa officials

by Staff Reporter | 24 June 2019 | 38 Views

Byo residents up in arms with Zesa

by Staff Reporter | 24 June 2019 | 51 Views

WATCH: Malawi Army steps in

by Mandla Ndlovu | 24 June 2019 | 75 Views

MDC blasts war veterans

by Simbarashe Sithole | 24 June 2019 | 47 Views

Zanu PF youths warned against abusing Mnangagwa's name

by Staff Reporter | 24 June 2019 | 47 Views

Zimbabwe has so far paid $53m to former white farmers

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 45 Views

Tongaat gazettes retail sugar prices

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 56 Views

China sends doctors to Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 45 Views

Ugandan coach makes U-turn on Warriors

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 45 Views

Mthuli Ncube interacts with journalists

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 33 Views

'Moving to SA doesn’t guarantee success'

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 35 Views

Pregnant pupils divide Parliament

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 34 Views

Zanu-PF UK gears up Vision 2030 diaspora promotion

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 22 Views

Nurses call off strike?

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 30 Views

Top cops, ZPCS, doctors face jail

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 35 Views

EcoSure US$ packages unveiled

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 29 Views

Cop molests boss

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 34 Views

British Council sucked into Riverton Academy exam scam

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 25 Views

Zanu-PF youths warned against abusing Mnangagwa's name

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 29 Views

Train as a primary school teacher at UCE

by Staff reporter | 24 June 2019 | 27 Views

MRP engages it's grassroots in Bulawayo

by MRP | 23 June 2019 | 106 Views

Zanu PF's denial propaganda

by ZimVigil | 23 June 2019 | 114 Views

Matabeleland - Zimbabwe border to be redrawn with blood

by Israel Dube | 23 June 2019 | 130 Views

ED now faces tough political choices

by Staff Reporter | 23 June 2019 | 175 Views

Zimbabwe, UK firm partnership to boost local capital markets

by Staff Reporter | 23 June 2019 | 89 Views

Ethiopia's army chief general shot dead in attempted coup

by Staff Reporter | 23 June 2019 | 118 Views

Prices of basic goods going down, says Mthuli Ncube

by NewZimbabwe.com | 23 June 2019 | 127 Views

Private hospitals demand up to US$700 fees

by Staff Reporter | 23 June 2019 | 124 Views

Scandal prone Zinara caught up in yet another murky deal fiasco

by Staff Reporter | 23 June 2019 | 125 Views