NRZ revamp set to oil fuel industry: Total MD

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As a result of the decline in agricultural and manufacturing activity, coupled with reported corruption and mismanagement of the National Railways of Zimbabwe, goods transported using the railway system countrywide shrunk to two million tonnes in 2010 from 18 million tonnes in 1998.

Total Zimbabwe managing director Ronan Bescond says a revamp of the country’s railway system will go a long way in improving fuel supplies in the country.

BY TAFADZWA MUTACHA/FIDELITY MHLANGA

Addressing journalists during a tour of Total Zimbabwe depot in Harare yesterday, Bescond said fuel companies were doing their best to ensure fuel security in the country despite a shortage of foreign currency.

“We are confident that we will get enough funding from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and commercial banks to ensure that supplies continue,” he said.

“There might be logistical gaps from time-to-time, but we are confident that we can properly do our job. RBZ has come up with letters of credit where they promise to pay at a certain date.”

The bank’s letter of credit guarantees that a buyer’s payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. In the event that the buyer is unable to make payment on the purchase, the bank will be required to cover the full or remaining amount of the purchase.

Bescond said it was time that the country benefitted from its rail network.

“There is also a good railway system, it needs reformation and all depots in the country are connected to railway. This will be a very big boost for the industry if we could use railway to increase volumes and frankly Zimbabwe is strategically located in the middle of a dynamic region and use of rail will be a big boost for the country,” he said.

Total, the Paris-headquartered and world’s fourth largest oil and gas company, has two active depots in Harare and Bulawayo, both connected to railway.

The company seeks to install solar power at 45 of its service stations across the country by 2021.