KPHL enters downstream fuel market

The national oil company of Papua New Guinea Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) has made a significant stride into the downstream fuel business, marking a historic moment in its 14-year history.

In response to the country's pressing fuel crisis, a shipment of diesel and Jet A1 was recently discharged at NapaNapa. This move comes as part of a strategic intervention mandated by the National Government under the Essential Services Act, with a NEC decision entrusting KPHL to find a commercial solution to manage the energy crisis.

Taking over a shipment of fuel originally brought in by ExxonMobil, KPHL facilitated the transaction by purchasing in US dollars and selling to Puma Energy in Kina.

 The STI Seneca tanker, carrying 230,000 barrels of diesel and 37,000 barrels of Jet A1 fuel berthed at NapaNapa earlier this week to discharge the much-needed fuel into Puma's storage tanks. All fuel retailers and distributors are urged to engage with Puma for seamless distribution to customers across the nation.

Expressing the significance of this move, Managing Director of KPHL, Wapu Sonk emphasized the gravity of the occasion, stating, "This is a historic import of petroleum products by Kumul Petroleum."

He further elaborated that while addressing the immediate supply issue, KPHL is also actively working on building import infrastructure, particularly focusing on Jet A1, followed by diesel and petrol. This infrastructure development, intended for strategic locations such as Lae and others around the country, is envisioned as a long-term solution to the recurring fuel challenges faced by Papua New Guinea.

Assuring the nation of sustained efforts, Sonk highlighted the collaboration between KPHL, ExxonMobil, TotalEnergies, and other fuel importers, signaling optimism that the emerging fuel crisis should gradually ease off.

With the government's support and mandate, Kumul Petroleum aims to not only alleviate the current fuel scarcity but also lay the groundwork for a more resilient and self-sufficient fuel supply chain in the future.

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