May 7, 2019 / 1:41 PM / 3 months ago

Angola president calls for resolution to fuel crisis

LUANDA, May 7 (Reuters) - Angola’s President João Lourenço called on Tuesday for a quick resolution to the fuel crisis plaguing the capital Luanda and cities around the country, causing long queues in Africa’s second-largest crude producer.

A statement issued by the president’s office blamed a lack of communication between state energy company Sonangol and other state institutions that resulted in problems with the import of refined products such as gasoline and diesel.

Lengthy lines were seen at petrol stations all over Luanda on Tuesday, severely clogging traffic and frustrating motorists who had to wait for hours to fill up.

“Measures have been taken and the necessary resources mobilised to stabilise the market for fuel in the coming days,” said the note issued after a meeting between the president and leaders from the fuel industry.

Over the weekend, Sonangol said it was having difficulty accessing hard currency to cover imports of refined products.

Angola, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, imports 80 percent of its refined products despite producing around 1.5 million barrels of crude per day.

The state company said the “constraints” at filling stations were also partly the result of mounting unpaid debts owed to Sonangol by industrial clients to whom it delivers fuel. (Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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