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Qatari firm plans $150m Malawi fuel facility

Lilongwe, January 28, 2008

A company run by a member of Qatar's ruling family will build a $150 million fuel storage facility in Malawi to help boost the African country's reserves, Malawian finance minister Goodall Gondwe said.

Venessia Petroleum, which is chaired by Abdulaziz Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al Thani, who is part of the ruling family in the Middle Eastern nation, is expected to finish construction within three years, the minister said.

"The oil storage facility to be built in Nsanje will help our country to hold reserves of up to 90 days and help resolve problems of fuel shortages that (we) have had in recent months," Gondwe said in a telephone interview.

Malawi's current fuel reserves would last about 10 days in a crisis.  The southern African nation, one of the poorest on the continent, has experienced severe fuel shortages that the government has blamed on delays in shipments from Tanzania where about 20 Malawian oil tankers have been held up.

Construction of the Malawian fuel facility is the latest investment by Venessia in southern Africa.

The company announced last year that it planned to invest around $1.5 billion in Zimbabwe to build an oil refinery and a hotel in the economically struggling nation.-Reuters




Tags: Qatar | storage | fuel | ruling family | malawi | facility |

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