Rwanda fuel storage facilities to be expanded by 150 million litres


MINICOM Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Hategeka

This was said by Emmanuel Hategeka, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, and Industry.

“Currently, our storage facilities have a capacity of 30m litres. Under this new policy, we want to upgrade them to 150 million litres by 2017,” he said.

“In this context, we want to increase the importation of fuel and ensure that we purchase oil at the lowest cost possible”.

Hategeka pointed out that the country currently spends a lot of money because it purchases few litres of fuel, adding that there was need to buy in bulk.

“To manage this situation we will have to set up the oil product law which will set guidelines for the oil trade,” added the Permanent Secretary, saying they were trying to look at all possibilities of a downstream oil policy.

Downstream petroleum operations are mainly categorised into: refining, importation, transportation, processing, supply, storage & distribution, wholesale and retail sale.

In Rwanda, currently, downstream petroleum activities exclude refining and processing of petroleum products.

According to Hategeka, on average, the country consumes 205 million litres of fuel annually with an average consumption of 17-20 million litres per month.

Petroleum liquid fuels imported in 2009 are estimated at 184 million litres – this implies an increase in the litres imported annually.

Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) indicates that the use of petroleum products is expected to grow at an annual average rate of 10.1 per cent.

In an interview with The New Times, the Director of Societe Petroliere s.a.r.l, Kv Choudary, said that petroleum dealers have the capacity to import as much fuel as possible but still face a problem of storage.

Although traders want to import much more fuel, transporters claim there are limitations related to weigh bridges and non tariff barriers.

According to Hategeka, there are eight weigh bridges on the central corridor and 10 on the North corridor, but there are no weigh bridges in Rwanda which makes cargo transportation easier.

“Currently, we are in talks with  (the EAC) partner states to see how the weigh bridges can be reduced so as to speed up transportation of goods, including oil,” said Hategeka.

Information on RURA website indicates that the products are mainly used for transportation and more than 80 per cent is consumed as diesel or petrol.

Petroleum products sold at the Rwandan market include white fuels (gasoline, diesel, kerosene, various industrial & auto lubricants, etc.); black fuels (bitumen, black oil, etc.) and other petroleum products such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

By Edwin Musoni, The New Times

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