SA fuel shortages to last for weeks

2011-12-23 20:00
Johannesburg - Fuel shortages at petrol stations in inland provinces will probably last until around the third week in January, the energy department said on Friday.

By then the supply backlog would have been addressed, spokesperson Johannes Mokobane said in a statement.

"The department wishes to assure all concerned that it is in daily consultation with the oil companies that are responsible for supplying fuel to the market, and has requested them to submit their contingency plans."

The government had noted that the periodic "fuel availability challenges" indicated an urgent need for additional refining capacity, along with improvements in import infrastructure for liquid fuels.

"In this respect government has commenced work toward the development of medium-long term policy frameworks and plans to alleviate the current problems experienced."

Mokobane urged motorists to fill up regularly and avoid driving at high speeds, which led to higher fuel consumption.

Fuel company Total blamed technical repairs for the shortage.

"The shortage is as a result of an unforeseen technical problem experienced at the Single Buoy Mooring (SBM) facility off the Durban coast, which resulted in the SBM facility, which allows for the transportation of crude oil, being closed for repairs," the company said, without indicating when supply would be normalised.

- SAPA
Read more on:    total  |  energy
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