The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has insisted there is no imminent SA fuel shortage in the country.

A statement from the department was published in response to comments made by the Liquid Fuel Wholesale Association. As published by Independent Media’s Business Report and other, that warned fuel-shedding could become a reality. This is if strategic stocks are not built up in South Africa as was recommended by a 2006 commission of inquiry report. The Business Report article also said the department had not responded to repeated requests for comment.

SA FUEL SHORTAGES EXPLAINED

“The DMRE would like to assure South Africans that there is no imminent shortage of liquid fuels in the country. Predictions made by the Liquid Fuel Wholesalers Association (LFWA) are very unfortunate,” the department said in Tuesday’s statement, adding that the supply chain of the petroleum sector in South Africa is resilient even as the disruptive geopolitical war in eastern Europe rages on.

“Over a number of years, the government deliberately enabled investment in fuel import terminals when the reliability of existing petroleum refineries was in question,” the department said.

D.O.E denies SA faces fuel shortage
D.O.E denies SA faces fuel shortage

“These import terminals provided the backup to existing refineries. This has proven to have been a correct strategy as refineries close. The import terminals throughout the country’s ports are able to ensure security of fuel supply.”

INVESTMENTS MADE

In addition, the department said major investments have been made by both Mozambique and Namibia. Which further strengthen the region’s fuel supply position.

The South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) has however warned that concern is growing over the risk to the country’s security of fuel supply as import infrastructure would be unable to cope with rising fuel imports should another refinery close. Incentivising industry to build more storage would mitigate these risks, the association said.

The department also said it engages the industry on a weekly basis on supply issues. They will also seek clarity from the LFWA on its comments.