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ACSA's Response to Fuel Shortage Reports


Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has responded to recent media reports indicating an impending fuel shortage at some of its airports.



ACSA was requested to assist the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) in their ongoing discussions with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and individual petroleum companies regarding a tax dispute related to the use of the multi-product pipeline from Durban to Johannesburg, and related storage facilities. As ACSA is worried about the adverse impact of the fuel shortage on its airport operations, it has been participating in these negotiations with the parties involved.



The following summary best describes the issue: The inland refinery, which serves as the main source of jet fuel for OR Tambo International Airport, is scheduled to undergo a temporary shutdown between May and June of this year. As a result, there will be a higher dependence on imported fuel from Durban. However, ACSA claims that they have anticipated the issues and have made preparations to ensure that jet fuel supply will continue using alternative routes.



This scheduled shutdown unfortunately overlaps with the difficulties caused by the SARS dispute with the parties involved. This is why there is a potential crisis in the supply of jet fuel. As stated by ACSA, SARS and SAPIA, they have been in discussions and are currently finalising the implementation of contingency plans to prevent this situation from happening.



The fuel stock levels at OR Tambo International Airport have recently fallen below the recommended five days' cover due to the refinery preparing for shutdown. The purpose of having a five-day stock holding of fuel is to provide a buffer to cope with any unforeseen short-term interruptions that may occur in the supply chain of jet fuel.



ACSA is currently in communication with all parties involved to resolve the issue at hand. They request patience from all stakeholders until we receive definitive feedback from SARS, SAPIA, and the petroleum companies regarding the resolution of this matter.



ACSA would like to reiterate that it is the responsibility of fuel suppliers and SAPIA, who use ACSA's infrastructure, to maintain sufficient stocks of jet fuel to meet the demands of airlines. Airlines accurately forecast their demand and make arrangements to supply this demand by entering into contracts with fuel suppliers. SAPIA and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy have a responsibility to ensure continuity and security of supply. Some suppliers have informed their airline customers that there will be a reduction in their supply. As a result, airlines are making operational decisions to prepare for the impact on their services.



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