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Jet fuel crisis: Supplies set to lighten as cargo arrives in Durban port

Mbalula acknowledges that some airlines are currently having to refuel at other airports such as King Shaka International Airport, due to the crisis at OR Tambo.

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Attempts to resolve the jet fuel supply problem for some suppliers at OR International Airport have intensified at the ministerial level.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe met in late April to discuss the issue, according to a statement released by the Transport Ministry on Friday.

After the meeting, Mbalula reassured the aviation sector that measures are being implemented to ensure an adequate supply of jet fuel at OR Tambo. This was communicated in a statement on April 27, the department said.

Meanwhile, some international airlines whose suppliers still cannot guarantee enough jet fuel at OR Tambo International Airport currently have to detour to Durban or even Windhoek to refuel, Fin24 reported. Since the end of March, jet fuel supplies have been limited at the airport.

Airports Company SA (ACSA) has described overall jet fuel inventory levels at OR Tambo International Airport as stable, but some suppliers affected by recent flooding in KwaZulu-Natal are still unable to obtain the quantities they need due to damage to railway lines.

Fin24 also reported that a shipment of jet fuel by ship was due to arrive at the port of Durban this week. According to the Ministry of Transport, the vessel arrived on Thursday and the process of pumping fuel into the NATREF refinery is about to begin. The department says this will ensure the availability of jet fuel for aircraft at OR Tambo once the quality control process is completed.

Currently, additional quantities of fuel from the NATREF refinery are supplied to OR Tambo International, as well as smaller quantities by rail from Mozambique.

“The Airports Company South Africa [ACSA] provided assurances that overall inventory levels are stable, while some flood-impacted suppliers are still unable to obtain the quantities they need. ACSA has further indicated that there is also an anticipated volume of approximately 20 million liters which will go through a special pipeline shipment,” the Department of Transportation states.

“We are encouraged that Transnet Freight Rail is working around the clock to have part of its rail system between Durban and Johannesburg operational from mid-June which will restore at least 50% of rail capacity. normal from the coast.”

Mbalula acknowledges that some airlines are currently having to refuel at other airports such as King Shaka International Airport, due to the crisis at OR Tambo.