The Indian High Commissioner to Malawi, Suresh Kumar Menon, said on Wednesday the strategic fuel reserves constructed in the country will significantly address problems of fuel shortage in the country.
Menon made the remarks when National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) commissioned the strategic fuel reserves at Kanengo in Lilongwe. The function was presided over by the country’s president Arthur Peter Mutharika.
The Indian High Commissioner said his government funded this important project initiated by the Malawi Government with a credit line of US Dollar 26.49 million (over K19 billion) in the year 2014.
“Malawi has now its own strategic fuel reserves and its citizens can be well assured of constant supply of fuel, even when there is temporary dislocation in the movement of the imported fuel,” assured Menon.
The High Commissioner said building strategic fuel reserves in the country is a sign of visionary leadership by the president for his country. He said this would ensure that blockades do not bring Malawi’s economy to a grinding halt.
Menon said for the country which is landlocked, such a large fuel reserve is paramount.
He said the commissioning of the strategic fuel reserves marks another important milestone in the warm and friendly relations between the peoples and governments of India and Malawi.
The Indian Envoy also disclosed to people gathered at the commissioning ceremony that during his visit to Malawi in 2010, the two governments also discussed the project to bring water from Mulanje Mountain to Blantyre District.
“The project is going as per the timelines laid down and [that] the work has begun from this month. The Indian company has taken the challenging job to be completed as soon as possible if all the authorities join together in lending a hand for its success.
“I plead and seek your kind blessings to accomplish that project before early 2019. We know how important that project is for the government,” he appealed.
He also congratulated Malawi Government under President Mutharika’s leadership on the landmark signing of the agreement of the International Solar Alliance.
He said Malawi will benefit with big amount of funds that are made available for renewable energy being the signatory of this international agreement.
The agreement is expected to bring to the country a transformational change in the power scenario in the coming years, according to Menon.
Lilongwe and Blantyre depots have 25 million litre capacities each while Mzuzu’s fuel reserves have 10 million litres.