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Senegal underestimates kerosene shortage as new delivery scheduled

Senegal on Tuesday accepted jet fuel supply problems but denied there was no more stock after the capital’s airport warned that planes could no longer be refueled.

On Monday evening, authorities at Blaise-Diagne International Airport said “adverse international conditions” and volatile commodity markets had severely disrupted jet fuel supplies. The airport, near Dakar, the capital of the West African country, has asked incoming planes to carry enough fuel to be able to make return flights.

SMCady, the company that manages the airport’s fuel, also said in a letter seen by Agence France-Presse (AFP) that it would not be able to refuel jets from Wednesday for around two weeks.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February sent oil prices up around the world. Russia, subject to severe Western sanctions, is a major energy producer.

However, at a press conference on Tuesday, Senegalese Energy Minister Sophie Gladima told reporters that new supplies of kerosene were due to arrive the same day.

“The situation is very difficult, but there is no shortage of supplies,” she said.

Airlines have reassured passengers that flights will continue. National airline Air Senegal said on Tuesday that its flight schedule would remain unchanged despite the kerosene shortage. A spokesperson for Air France told AFP that flights between Dakar and Paris stop to refuel in the Canary Islands.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said it was in contact with Senegalese authorities about the shortage.

“We are not aware that this is a problem in other African countries currently,” an IATA spokesperson said.

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