Fuel supply to Amhara region drops by 77 trucks in two months
Hundreds of trucks carrying fuel from Djibouti, destined to regional states in Ethiopia are being diverted to Tigray, Sudan and the black market, officials said.
The disparity between fuel trucks departing from Djibouti and arriving at their destinations has widened since the past few months, according to the Ethiopian Petroleum and Energy Authority. This was not discovered in time as regional states are not reporting to the Authority the exact amount they have been receiving.
As of July 1, 2022, only Amhara regional state reported to the authority that fuel is being diverted to other places, creating fuel shortages across the country.
From June 15 to 27, 83 fuel trucks were shipped from Djibouti, all destined to be distributed to Amhara region. Out of 83 fuel tucks, only 33 arrived in Amhara and delivered the fuel. The rest did not reach the region. In the previous month, 27 fuel trucks destined to Amhara region did not reach the region.
In total, 77 trucks of fuel shipped from Djibouti failed to reach the region in the past one month and half.
“Fuel is being shipped from Djibouti but is not arriving at regional states where it is destined. Regional states were not reporting the exact amount of fuel they are receiving. Only Amhara regional state reported to us today (July 1, 2022), how much fuel it has been receiving. We are waiting for other regions to confirm to us how much fuel trucks they have been receiving,” said Sahrela Abdulahi, director general of the authority, who came into the position three weeks ago.
“Once the regions confirm to us, we will prepare the aggregate data and disclose how much fuel has been lost in between Djibouti and Ethiopia. Severe fuel shortage occurred in Gondar, so we are distributing fuel from the government’s reserve depots to Gondar. Even hospital generators could not access fuel, because fuel destined to the area is diverted to the black market,” added Sahrela.
According to Sahrela, the fuel is being diverted to Tigray, Sudan and the black market.
“Before, many fuel trucks resist going to Tigray, because the geography is mountainous and not suitable. But nowadays, many fuel trucks destined to other areas are being diverted to Tigray. The government already resumed fuel supplies to Tigray, through humanitarian organizations but more fuel is flowing to Tigray illegally,” Sahrela told The Reporter.
The Amhara region trade bureau has confiscated fuel several times, while it was being transported into Tigray.
“Since the war started, a significant volume has been smuggled into Tigray. But we only started catching them this month, and even the amount smuggled in a month is huge,” added Sahrela.
Over the week, the authority caught fuel trucks in Metehara and Afar allegedly hiding. These trucks were caught carrying fuel, destined to be delivered to Addis Ababa. Several of these trucks belong to NOC.
Another truck owned by Oilibya was caught in Akaki.
Several others, destined to Dejen, Aleta Wendo, Derba Midrok and other places were also caught standing idle at Awash, according to Sahrela.
These trucks were days past their arrival date. Fuel trucks must arrive at their destination on schedule, and that must be confirmed by the trade bureaus in the area.
The government is confiscating some of the fuel trucks caught out of place until investigations are carried out. The authority also shut down a fuel station in Bishoftu.