07 Nov 2016 Blogpost Transport

Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe to switch to low sulphur diesel fuels from June 2017

A sub-regional workshop for Mozambique and the neighboring countries of Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia was held on 7-8 November in Maputo, Mozambique. The workshop, which was organized by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, through its National Directorate of Hydrocarbons and Fuels recommended the move to low sulphur diesel fuels at 50 ppm in the sub-region by June 2017.

The workshop was opened by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, Mr. Alfredo Vasco Nogueira Nampete, on behalf of the Minister. During his opening remarks, he informed participants of Mozambique’s commitment to cleaner fuels and the country’s commitment to coordinate the sub-regional fuel quality harmonization process. He attributed this to the significant role Mozambique plays in the transit of fuel to Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Botswana. The Permanent Secretary also spoke of Mozambique’s commitment to improving fuel quality with the ultimate objective of achieving 10 ppm sulphur content by 2020. The National Director of Hydrocarbons and Fuels, Mr. Moises Paulino Joao also participated in the two day workshop.

The participants were informed that although the sub-region was predominately marketing 500 ppm diesel, Malawi and Zimbabwe already had a 50 ppm diesel standard that would be harmonized with the Mozambique’s proposed 50 ppm standard to ease fuel logistics. Malawi informed the meeting that the country currently imports 70% of her fuel requirement from Mozambique at 500 ppm and 30% from Tanzania at 50 ppm. No fuel segregation is taking place. Zimbabwe also informed the workshop of its Government’s commitment to move to 50 ppm diesel fuels and is currently segregating its 50 ppm diesel. The 50 ppm market in Zimbabwe currently stands at 5.3% with the monthly consumption increasing by 135% from 2015 and 2016. Zambia on the other hand has an oil refinery. Currently, the country has two standards, a 5000 ppm diesel standard that is mainly produced by the Indeni Refinery and a 500 ppm standard that accounts for 11% of the diesel market. However this lower sulphur standard is mainly for the mining industry. There are plans to upgrade the refinery. 

On vehicles imports, the workshop was informed of higher taxation on vehicle imports older than 10 years in Zambia and Malawi. Mozambique currently has a vehicle population of 700 million cars, and a growth rate of about 10%. The country also has 158 CNG buses.