About us/Company Background

We are the National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) Limited, wholly owned by the Government of Malawi.

Formed in line with the National Energy Policy of January 2003, NOCMA was registered on 14thDecember 2010 under the companies Act of 1984.

With our head office in Kang’ombe House in City Centre in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, we have an office at Mwanza border post and have operations through an agent at Songwe border to handle incoming fuel tankers.

Background to our existence

In the early 1990’s, liquid fuel importation was in the hands of the private sector. Oil imports were facilitated on behalf of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) through the Industry Petroleum Supply Unit (IPSU).

The floatation of the Malawi Kwacha in 1994 resulted in heavy exchange losses for the oil industry. Consequently, IPSU handed over fuel importation to Government, which directed that the Petroleum Control Commission (PCC), established by an Act of Parliament, combine both regulation and importation of liquid fuel into the country. 

In 1999, PCC stopped importation of fuel because of concerns raised by multilateral partners on governance issues such as combining the role of a regulator and importer of fuel for the country. The role of importation reverted to the private sector through the Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL), a consortium of oil marketing companies. 

However, the oil companies do not have adequate storage capacity and do not seem to have the incentive to invest significantly in this area. In the absence of the strategic fuel reserves, this arrangement does not provide for fuel stocks to last for a reasonably longer period, leaving the country very vulnerable to supply chain shocks.

In 2003, the Government of Malawi, with financial support from the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), developed the National Energy Policy for Malawi. The Energy Policy identified various challenges faced by the oil industry in Malawi. These included unreliability of supplies, lack of competition in the oil industry and the absence of proper institutional arrangements to champion upstream activities in oil and gas for the country.

The policy, therefore, recommended the establishment of a national oil company through an Act of Parliament. However, the company was registered under the companies Act of 1984.

Construction of Strategic Fuel Reserves

With a loan from Exim Bank of India, the Government of Malawi constructed three Strategic Fuel Reserves, each in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu to fulfill NOCMA’s mandate of ensuring security of fuel supplies in the country. NOCMA only manages the facilities.

The fuel storage facilities have a combined capacity of sixty million litres of fuel, representing more than 45 days of fuel cover for the country at the current estimated national daily consumption level of between one million and five hundred thousand litres.

President Peter Mutharika officially commissioned the Strategic Fuel Reserves on 6thDecember, 2017 at a ceremony that was held in Lilongwe.

About the depots

Lilongwe Depot

Location:Kanengo, Lilongwe

Storage capacity :25 million litres (18 million litres diesel, 7 million litres petrol)

Blantyre Depot

Location :Matindi, Blantyre

Storage capacity :25 million litres (18 million litres diesel, 7 million litres petrol)

Mzuzu Depot

Location:Sonda, Mzuzu

Storage capacity :10 million litres (5 million litres diesel, 5 million litres petrol).

Currently, NOCMA brings its fuel into Malawi via the ports of Dar es Salaam, Beira and Nacala.

 

Governance

Our governance structure includes a Board of Directors, at the highest level, providing overall strategic leadership to the company, and an Executive Management team that translates the Board’s advice into day-today operational business undertakings.

Chaired by the Chief Secretary to the Government, the Board of Directors comprises representatives from Government Ministries, Civil Society and the private sector.

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