Cyclone Idai did not put pressure on Jet A1 annual consumption

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Members of the Zimbabwe National Army rescue some of the stranded survivors caused by the Cyclone Idai

Kenneth Matimaire

Zimbabwe is not anticipating an increase in the annual consumption of Jet A1 fuel as a result of Cyclone Idai since small planes were used for rescue missions. The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) said the small planes will not affect annual consumption as they have a lower carrying capacity.

JET A1 is a type of aviation fuel designed for use in aircraft powered by compression ignition or turbine engines.

However, Zimbabwe recorded an increase without disasters on the use of Jet A1 fuel during the past two years to 74,6 million litres from 60,2 million litres.

“There are no expectations of a hike in the consumption for Jet A1 because of the Cyclone because only small planes which do not consume as much fuel were used for rescue efforts,” said ZERA acting chief executive officer Edington Mazambani.

Mazambani further allayed shortages and maintained that there are adequate supplies of Jet A1 fuel in the country despite the high use of the special fuel during Cyclone Idai rescue missions during the past two months.

This has been exacerbated by the fact that Zimbabwe has been marred by a serious shortage of petroleum products, chief among them, diesel, petrol gas and paraffin.

“Currently the supply of Jet A1 is favourable and there are no shortages in the country. The Jet A1 supplies are adequate for local consumption and there is no fear for imminent shortages,” said Mazambani.

Cyclone Idai which struck Zimbabwe’s eastern region on March 15, rendered the hardest hit areas of Chimanimani and Chipinge districts inaccessible by road.

Government led by the military had to make use of aircraft to reach the affected areas in rescue missions and aid distribution.

Reports of some donors frustrated by inadequate Jet A1 fuel supply surfaced.

In one of its routine reports, the World Food Programme indicated that shortages of Jet A1 were hampering its air relief efforts before indicating that supplies had normalised.

The Beira fuel pipe which transport fuel from Mozambique into Zimbabwe had also been partly damaged by the floods thereby threatening the flow of petroleum products into the country.