CAPE TOWN - The government is developing a 20-year liquid fuels infrastructure "road map" to determine the extent of future requirements, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said in a written reply to a parliamentary question yesterday.
She acknowledged that there was a shortage of infrastructure to store petroleum products inland and said the road map would plot projected future demand against the capacity of current and future supply chain and logistics infrastructure.
The minister also conceded in reply to a question by Independent Democrats MP Lance Greyling that the supply of fuel to the inland region was & highly constrained& She said a draft strategic stocks policy was also being finalised. This would specify the quantities of strategic crude oil and refined product stocks SA needed to maintain.
Once this policy was approved, regulations would be developed to regulate the holding of emergency stocks for national purposes.
Ms Peters said the Department of Energy was also & very concerned& about the recent fuel shortages, particularly in the inland region.
It was in this context that the department had supported the application to the Competition Commission by the South African Petroleum Industry Association for an exemption from the Competition Act so that meetings could be held between industry representatives and departmental officials to manage the supply situation.
Ms Peters said the department held frequent meetings with supply managers of the various oil companies and consulted supply specialists of the oil companies weekly - or even more frequently - to discuss challenges in the supply chain and find solutions.
"Oil companies also submit planned refinery shutdown schedules and concomitant contingency plans to the department for monitoring of plans to minimise any negative impact on supply," she said.
Mr Greyling asked whether the government planned to enter into public-private partnerships for fuel storage and distribution infrastructure expansion programmes.
Ms Peters responded that the department had created the necessary regulatory framework to encourage public and private companies to invest in such infrastructure. Both public and private players were responsible for the development of infrastructure for the storage and distribution of fuel, she said.
Conditions for the licensing of the various elements are legislated through the Petroleum Products Act and the Petroleum Pipelines Act, both of which are regulated by the National Energy Regulator of SA.
The National Energy Regulator is also responsible for the regulation of, the construction of and access to storage facilities.
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