By Petronella Sibeene
An announcement of yet another fuel price increase is imminent.
New Era on Friday established that the Ministry of Mines and Energy is busy adjusting the fuel pump price and the minister Erkki Nghimtina will this week pronounce himself on the new fuel price situation.
According to the New Era source, this time, the stiff price increase will be on diesel that is likely to go up by 80 cents per litre, while the prices of 93 Octane lead replacement petrol and 95 Octane unleaded petrol are likely to remain unchanged.
Since the end of July 2007 when the pump price reached the N$7 mark, at Walvis Bay the pump price for 93 Octane lead replacement petrol remains at N$6,98 per litre, while 95 Octane unleaded petrol costs N$6,91. A litre of diesel is currently N$6,70.
In Windhoek, 93 Octane lead replacement petrol costs N$7,07 per litre, while 95 Octane unleaded petrol sells for N$7,09 a litre and diesel costs N$6,89.
The increase in petroleum products is driven mainly by strong demand growth globally.
Considering that Namibia is not an oil producing country and heavily depends on South Africa for supply, the increase comes a few days after that country announced its fuel hike.
Taking effect on Wednesday last week, the Department of Minerals and Energy announced a 60 cents increase on diesel per litre and 30 cents per litre on petrol (all grades).
South Africa’s hike in fuel price is attributed to the fact that during the period September 28 to November 01, 2007, the average international prices of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin went up.
The average Rand/US Dollar exchange rate strengthened when compared to the previous period. The average Rand/US Dollar exchange rate for the period September 28, 2007 to November 01, 2007 was 6.7877 compared to 7.1580 during the previous period.
While there was a sharp decline in crude oil prices from over US$80 to below US$75 per barrel a month ago, by early this month, the fuel price on the international market reached US$94 per barrel.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy has always warned Namibian motorists that in instances where fuel prices have been reduced, the situation is likely to be short lived.
The increases and decreases in fuel prices have in most instances frustrated motorists.
To relieve motorists of the heavy burden posed by the unstable fuel prices, Nghimtina in an earlier interview with New era said, Government is pursuing negotiations with Congo following the recent invitation by that country’s President Denis Sassou-N’guesso.
Namibia was invited by Congo to be part of the effort aimed at expanding the oil refinery in that country’s second capital, Pointe Noire.
Further, the country eyes Venezuela, one of the top oil producers in the world.