2 January 2013

Mozambique: Petrol Shortage Over in Nampula, but Not in Quelimane

Maputo — The severe shortage of fuel, particularly petrol, in the northern Mozambican city of Nampula has now been overcome – but the same problem has hit Quelimane, capital of the central province of Zambezia.

The Nampula petrol shortage led to long queues over the weekend at filling stations that still had fuel, and forced many local residents to rethink their plans for New Year’s Eve.

According to the spokesperson of the Nampula Provincial Directorate of Mineral Resources and Energy, Fila Lazaro, a tanker began unloading petrol at the port of Nacala on Monday. This fuel is intended to meet the needs of Nampula and the neighbouring province of Cabo Delgado.

During the shortage, informal traders managed to obtain petrol and were selling it for 100 meticais (3.4 US dollars) a litre, which is more than twice the official price.

There was some relief when truckloads of fuel arrived from Beira. Between Friday and Tuesday the tanker trucks, owned by the state fuel company Petromoc, brought 150,000 litres of petrol to Nampula.

But this proved insufficient, and many of the private minibuses that provide passenger transport were forced to stop running.

However, Lazaro insisted that, with the arrival of the ship in Nacala, all the filling stations in the province can now be resupplied.

But since Sunday, Quelimane has been running out of petrol. On New Year’s Eve, out of the six filling stations in the city, only one, belonging to the company Total, was still selling petrol, and so long queues built up.

Some of those who purchased petrol here immediately sold it at a mark-up to other motorists.

Government sources, cited by the independent daily “O Pais”, blamed the shortage on a delay in the arrival of a tanker in the port of Beira.

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