Fuel import quota business case presented
The government is reluctant to re-instate the fuel import mandate of the Namibia Petroleum Corporation, as revealed this week by the parastatal.
The Namibia Petroleum Corporation (NAMCOR) has done all that it can to convince the Ministry of Mines and Energy that it should re-instate NAMCOR’s former fuel import quota, according to its spokesperson Utaara Hoveka recently.
The restoration of the fuel import quota can do much to bolster NAMCOR’s finances and help finance in part, several service stations across the country as well as fuel depots. Although a business case has been presented to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, progress on the restoration of the quota remains slow. In the meantime, detail on the practicalities of the import quota, remains thin.
Seeking an update, Hoveka briefly responded to the issue indicating that the Cabinet had to take a final decision on the matter. Said Hoveka, “with respect to the 50% mandate, I would rather suggest that you make contact with the Ministry of Mines and Energy. NAMCOR has done its part by presenting its business case around the 50% mandate to the Minister. We eagerly await response from him and Cabinet.”
The Economist has on two occasions sought to gain clarity on the details of the import quota and has again drawn a blank on the issue.
When Hoveka spoke to the Economist in October 2014 he said on the issue of the import quota, “NAMCOR is currently working on getting its mandate back to import 50% of the country’s [fuel] requirements. We are carefully assessing the various aspects that need to be in place, to ensure smooth operations when the mandate is returned.”
Nor did board chairperson, Johannes !Gawaxab who announced NAMCOR’s intentions at restoring the quota, outlined clearly how NAMCOR would go about to get its import quota restored. In a presentation held in NAMCOR’s auditorium at the time, the energy parastatal could not provide a clear guideline on when it would ideally restore the fuel mandate, how and from where it would procure the required fuel estimated to be 500 million litres annually and whether it would affect pricing. It could also not provide detail on what it would mean for existing fuel suppliers, Vivo Energy Namibia, Engen Namibia, Puma Energy and Total Namibia.
Hoveka also did not respond to enquiries regarding the work done thus far on its envisaged bulk fuel storage facility, advising the Economist to again make contact with the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
“Questions around the Bulk Fuel Storage Facility should also be directed to the ministry. Government is building the facility and it will only come under NAMCOR’s management once it is completed.”
NAMCOR indicated that a site had been identified while designs were finalised. Its Executive for Commercial Business, Mr Ludwig Kapingana said “we are also currently busy studying possible routes for the pipeline,” he said at a media briefing in Windhoek.
Kapingana explained that there would be three components to the facility, a tanker jetty and two berths as well as the pipeline that would carry the oil to the facility to be located in Walvis Bay.