SONARA Fire Incident: Gov't Assures Consumers Of Constant Supply

Three cabinet Ministers said during a press conference in Yaounde yesterday 2 June, 2019

In a joint press conference by the Minister of Communication, René Emmanuel Sadi, the Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Gaston Eloundou Essomba, and the Minister of Trade, Luc Malgoire Mbarga Atangana following the unfortunate fire incident at the Cameroon's Oil Refinery Company (SONARA) on May 31, 2019, consumers of fuel and domestic gas have been reassured that prices of the aforementioned commodities will remain unchanged. Minister Sadi in his preliminary statement said the situation is a stake of common concern with the challenges being enormous.

He further stated that following the instructions of the Head of State, no effort will be spared in reviving the vital company with is a Jewry to the Cameroonian industry. The Minister appreciated the availability of partners of SONARA and their engagement to helping in building the oil refinery. The Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Gaston Eloundou Essomba said the explosion led to a fire that which consumed four out of the 13 units in the production chain of the refinery. He noted that only the production chain of the company will halt as other departments will function normally, stating that there will be a constant supply of fuel and domestic gas in the local market.

"The local market is normally furnished by SONARA and from imports every beginning of a month, a forecast of the market demand is made. Importation sets in to bridge the supply gap by SONARA," he classified. Minister Gaston recalled that last year, the refinery was shut down for 8 months within the framework of its modernization and extension plan, a situation which did not affect market supply nor the prices, but rather permitted the refinery at the end of the process to be capable of refining more crude fuel. The Minister said the Head of State has given instructions which will be transmitted to the General Manager of SONARA.

For his part, the Minister of Trade, Luc Malgoire Mbarga Atangana stated in a firm and definitive manner that the prices of fuel and domestic gas will remain same. "The fuel and gas market in Cameroon is regulated. Super remains at FCFA 630 per litre, Gasoil will still sell at FCFA 575 per litre and Petrol 350 per litre. Domestic gas will still sell at FCFA 6500 for 12.5kg," he explained.

He insisted that measures have been taken to fight inflation. In a corroborative manner, the General Manager of CSPH said price control teams will be deployed on the field to ensure no price hacks or black marketing. The Board Chair of SONARA, Doh Bertha who assisted at the press conference clarified that the accident was a technical problem and regular checkups will be conducted to avoid a future misfortune.

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