Nation’s Nine-Month Fuel Expense Surpasses $2bln

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Petroleum Supply Enterprise said it has spent over 2 billion US dollars on importing fuel in the first nine months of the current 2019/20 fiscal year, which started on July 8, 2019.

The country has imported over 2.9 million metric tons of petroleum products including benzene, kerosene, aviation fuel and diesel during the period.

This is 94 percent of the enterprise’s initial import plan for the period, Tadesse Hailemariam, CEO of the enterprise, told The Daily Monitor on Tuesday.

The import for aviation fuel has declined by 20 percent. The CEO mentioned coronavirus pandemic-induced flight suspension as the main reason for reduced aviation fuel import.

Meanwhile, constant electric power blackouts and increasing consumption of industries have also led to increasing diesel imports.

Up to 61, 415mt diesel has been imported within the period. The amount has shown an 11 percent surge from the enterprise’s initial target set to the period, according to Tadesse.

Ethiopia has also pumped 45 million US dollars to the international market to buy natural coal to satisfy the demands of cement and ceramics-related industries.

The coal import is not as big as the government’s target. Tadesse said it was due to a slowdown in the construction sector which is hit by the coronavirus pandemic fallout.

The enterprise had a plan to buy 522,000 metric tons of coals but imported only 366,970mt in this period.

Tadesse also said, despite the limited storage capacity, the country is “trying its best” to accumulate petroleum products.

By Sisay Sahlu

Image: Fuel Pump [File]

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