The government has decided that it will no longer negotiate bank guarantees for fuel imports. From now on, the importing companies themselves will be responsible for all stages of the gas, diesel, kerosene and aero fuel buying and selling in national territory.
The new arrangement was announced on Friday by Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Augusto Fernando, who was speaking at the opening of a Total gas station in the Intaka neighbourhood on the Maputo ring road.
Fernando explained that, up to now, the Mozambican Petroleum Importer (IMOPETRO) had negotiated guarantees with commercial banks of for the acquisition of the fuels required by gas stations on the international market.
Henceforth the fuel companies themselves will have to arrange bank guarantees to enable them to buy the fuel they request through IMOPETRO, which will continue to be the only entity involved in the international sourcing of fuels for the country.
Fernando said this strategic measure would avoid delays in the import of fuels that, in the past, had imposed restrictions on supply, threatening the normal functioning of the economy.
The petrol station opened on Friday will be the first in the country to sell diesel with 50 ppm (particles per million) of sulphur, as against the 500 ppm currently marketed domestically.
Fernando explained that this was Mozambique’s response to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) directive aimed at extending the life of vehicles and lowering levels of environmental pollution for public health.
Joseph Kouamé, director general of Total Mozambique, said that the opening of the station marked a milestone in the expansion of the company, which now has 45 petrol stations nationwide.
Total group vice president for the SADC region, Pierre Sachet, said that Total would continue to aim to open 12 new petrol stations a year for the next five years, focusing on the central and northern regions of the country.