NOCMA has invested MK4.6 Billion into the state-of-the-art rail connectivity project connecting both its Lilongwe and Blantyre Strategic Fuel Reserves as one way of contributing to reduced landed cost of fuel
National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) has disclosed that it is moving it’s fuel transportation into the country to railway haulage beginning this September this year.
NOCMA Public Relations Officer Chisomo Mwamadi said plans to start transporting fuel into through the Nacala Railway line are at an advanced stage, with September this year being the probable month that this will kick off.
Malawi has been losing Billions of its resources through high costs of transporting fuel using road tankers.
However, on Wednesday Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL) became the first company after a long break to use the rail to bring fuel into the country when it received about 500, 000 litres from Mozambique through Nacala railway line.
In an interview, Mwamadi said the national oil company has already connected their facilities with the railway line.
He said they are just waiting for the rehabilitation of the whole line to be completed.
“NOCMA has invested MK4.6 Billion into the state-of-the-art rail connectivity project connecting both its Lilongwe and Blantyre Strategic Fuel Reserves as one way of contributing to reduced landed cost of fuel.
“The Lilongwe Strategic Fuel Reserves (SFRs) with a capacity of 25Million litres is fully connected to receive products via rail and is ready to receive products from Nacala but is currently awaiting completion of the ongoing rehabilitation of the Salima -Mchinji line to resume lifting products from Nacala,” said Mwamadi.
Mwamadi said the Blantyre Strategic Fuel Reserve also with a capacity of 25million litres will be commissioned to receive fuel via rail in September 2022 as final rail connectivity works are being finalized with contractors currently on the ground.
He said Both the Lilongwe and Blantyre Strategic Fuel Reserves rail pumping systems are state of the art and can be able to offload 10wagons at once – with a pumping capacity of 200,000 litres per hour.
Added Mwamadi: “Once in full utilisation, after the rehabilitation of the Mchinji and Salima rail route and completion of the Blantyre rail Connectivity; NOCMA will be able to bring in a minimum of 1.2 million litres a day – an average of 24million litres per month via rail.”
He said the development will significantly reduce the landed cost of fuel and thereby contribute to a reduction of fuel at the pump – and for this to happen the volumes imported via rail will be main determinant to the reduced landed costs.
Currently, NOCMA already has 23 million litres of fuel in NACALA which waiting to be lifted via rail under the current supply contracts once the Mchinji- Salima rehabilitations are completed.