August 7, 2009 - Business Report - By Justin Brown
South Africa's 2010 World Cup dreams could be turned into a nightmare by insufficient fuel supply, as the country has no plan in place to meet the extra demand, particularly at local airports, during the event.
To head off this possibility the state yesterday formed a fuel industry task team to avoid a repeat of incidents such as the jet fuel shortage at OR Tambo International Airport that emerged this week.
The team, which will include Transnet, the SA Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) and Airports Company South Africa, will meet once a week and report to Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters once a month until the World Cup is over.
Avhapfani Tshifularo, Sapia's executive director, said his organisation did not know yet how much extra fuel of all kinds would be required during the World Cup. "This is why we need to co-ordinate and talk about this matter," he said.
Six of the seven Sapia members supply OR Tambo with jet fuel.
OR Tambo general manager Chris Hlekani said the airport had a storage capacity of 46 million litres. Daily consumption presently averages 4.5 million litres a day.
Tshifularo said during the World Cup, daily demand at the airport was expected to climb to 10 million litres a day.
Hlekani said OR Tambo was looking to add 12 million litres of fuel storage capacity at a cost of R140 million by the end of March next year. This will give the airport a maximum 5.8 days of reserves.
On Monday fuel stocks at OR Tambo fell below two days worth of reserves - well under the international norm of 5.5 days of stock. It will take until the end of next week to get the stocks back to the required level.