Zimbabwe to establish petroleum body

Mar 24, 2007 01:00 AM

Government will soon establish the Petroleum Regulatory Authority, which will monitor and control the trade and pricing of petroleum products in the country, a Cabinet Minister said.
Addressing army officers at the Zimbabwe Staff College, the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Retired Lieutenant General, Mike Nyambuya said the body would be established in terms of the Petroleum Act. He said the setting up of the commission would ensure the equitable, reliable, efficient and economic utilisation of petroleum products.

The commission is expected to bring back sanity, especially in the trade of fuel currently characterised by price distortions.
"My Ministry has come up with the Petroleum Act, whose objectives are to provide a legal framework for the exploitation, importation, transformation, transportation, storage, distribution, wholesaling, retailing and utilisation of petroleum products and to establish a Petroleum Regulatory Commission. The commission will create a monitoring andenforcement body that will act professionally in strict compliance with applicable laws and regulations," Rtd Lt Gen Nyambuya said.

Rtd Lt Gen Nyambuya said there was an agreed need to urgently move towards a fair, predictable and equitable operating environment for the petroleum industry, a goal, which can "only be achieved through sound legislation".
He said his Ministry was working hard to find solutions to the challenges facing the energy sector, since energy was critical to the Government's efforts to turn around the economy. He said Zimbabwe needed at least 2,5 mm litres of diesel and 2 mm litres of petrol per day. The country, Lt Gen Nyambuya said, required at least 5 mm litres of Jet A1 per month.

"This comes to over Euro 90 mm a month. Given the foreign currency constraints that the country is currently facing, my Ministry has begun to pursue the development of alternative sources of fuel, namely bio-diesel extracted from the Jatropha seed. Furthermore, plans are at an advanced stage to resume the blending of petrol with ethanol. This project is aimed at ensuring that 10 % of the petrol consumed would be blended petrol," Rtd Lt Gen Nyambuya said.
He said that of late, regulations governing the importation of fuel had been relaxed to enable corporate bodies with foreign currency to import fuel for their own use. The Minister however, noted with great concern that some individuals and companies, who benefited from the relaxation, were abusing the facility.

Source: The Herald
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