Maputo — Mozambique's petroleum import agency, IMOPETRO, has guaranteed that there is no risk of the country running out of petroleum products (liquid fuels and cooking gas), despite the adversities resulting from the pandemic of the respiratory disease Covid-19.
President Filipe Nyusi declared a state of emergency which was ratified by the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic on Wednesday. The state of emergency expires at the end of the month, but can be extended for two further periods, each of 30 days.
The general manager of IMOPETRO, Joao Macandza, told AIM there is no chance that the country will run out of fuel during this period.
"No breakdown in fuel supplies is envisaged", he said. "The amount of fuel in our tanks is enough for at least 30 days of consumption".
Tankers were already in Mozambican ports waiting to unload fuel. More ships have confirmed that they will arrive in May and June.
The problem was not one of a fuel shortage, but the opposite. Macandja said the country currently has an excess of fuel, because the Mozambican economy, like economies all over the world, has been shrinking.
The measures taken to fight against Covid-19 seem likely to cause an international recession. Industrial production has fallen, planes have stopped flying, and there is a sharp reduction of traffic on the roads.
In a normal year, Mozambique imports about 1.6 million cubic metres of petrol, diesel and domestic gas.
Macandza said there has been a sharp increase in the import of cooking gas, as many households move away from wood fuel (charcoal and firewood), and use gas for cooking instead.
Last year, Mozambique imported 26,000 tonnes of domestic gas, and this year Macandza expects the figure to reach 50,000 tonnes.