Policy liberalisation leads to growth of fuel sector

By Tichaona Kurewa

Zimbabwe’s petroleum industry has hailed policies put in place by government to regulate operations in the fuel value chain.

Since coming into office the second republic has sought for ways of improving the ease of doing business.

In the fuel sector; Government has put in place several policies that include liberalisation of the fuel sector, allowing the players to use free funds to import fuel and the subsequent selling of the commodity in United States Dollars.

This has gone far in the operations of this key sector in economic development.

Indigenous Petroleum Association of Zimbabwe (IPAZ) Chairperson, Aaron Chinhara explained the current trends within the petroleum sector.

Multinational companies were supplying  60 to 80 percent of the country, so the 20 percent had no one who was supplying, especially in the rural areas and growth points and it’s where the indigenous players are coming in. In 2021 we managed to amass investments that allowed us to supply Zimbabwe with fuel unlike in 2019. We have been using free funds, we do not have queues anymore, if we have queues, it’s not about failure of us not to finance for the fuel that the nation wants but it will be for other reasons. The oil industry has made an investment which is enough to supply this country without shortages; we have enough money to supply fuel without disturbances,” he explained.

One Managing Director of a fuel equipment supply company, Mr. Ben Garwe also described the existing regulatory framework as key to attracting more investment.

A higher demand of fuel infrastructure especially from indigenous players has helped us to expand our portfolio, for instance last year we had much higher demand particularly from indigenous players for the development of fueling infrastructure namely service stations and fuel depots. We have witnessed significant growth in that sector, far much higher demand as compared to other years prior to liberalisation of the fuel sector,” he said.

Over 100 companies are now operating in the sector after the liberalisation of the petroleum value chain.

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