Long Awaited Strategic Fuel Stocks Policy Is Closer

The long term liquid fuels infrastructure framework or plan as a result of a commonly expressed concern at recent fuel shortages in the inland regions of South Africa is closer to completion, said energy minister, Dipuo Peters, in a  reply to a parliamentary question on the subject.

She wrote in her reply that the plan will spell out the quantities of strategic crude oil and refined products stocks that oil companies will have to maintain by regulation and that studies show that additional storage facilities are required as a matter of urgency and should be part of the energy master plan.

Minister Peters said, “In determining the extent of such a requirement, the full capacity and capability of the current and future supply chain and logistics infrastructure needs to be assessed and quantified so that all viable options are weighed and the best options put forward”.

It was problematic, she said, that oil companies are not obliged to hold commercial stocks and that stocks under government control exist in crude form only. This was bearing in mind that her department holds frequent meetings with oil companies and oil companies submitted planned refinery shutdown schedules and “concomitant contingency plans”. Any plans, she said, at the moment had not overcome the shortage of inland fuel stocks.

“Viable solutions were to be found”, she said.

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