SA is hit by a diesel shortage, says Sapia

Diesel rationing is being implemented to manage demand and to preserve stock, says Sapia. Picture: SUPPLIED
Diesel rationing is being implemented to manage demand and to preserve stock, says Sapia. Picture: SUPPLIED

There is inadequate stock of diesel in the country, says The SA Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia).

“Since the easing of lockdown restrictions and the transition from alert level 5 to alert level 4, the opening of the economy has resulted in a more rapid recovery than expected. There has been a dramatic increase in demand for diesel,” reads a Sapia statement.

“Stock rationing is being implemented to manage demand and to preserve stock. Unplanned shutdowns were a contributing factor which led to this and the shortage. It is likely to continue until the end of May.”

More than half of SA’s refining capacity was shut amid the lockdown, which started on March 27, and restricted activity to essential services, curbing demand for fuel. Those rules were eased and some industries were allowed to restart operations in May.

Stockpiles of diesel are running low, the department of mineral resources & energy and energy said, according to Bloomberg.

Both refineries in Durban are currently starting up and on-spec production is expected by month-end. Diesel supply will then normalise, says Sapia.

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