Guinea fuel supplies improving since oil storage blast

CONAKRY (Reuters) – Supplies of fuel to gas stations in Guinea is expected to improve significantly following an oil terminal blast, the government said, as it introduced new top-up limits for vehicles from Saturday.

The Dec. 18 blast killed 23 people and damaged most of the fuel tanks at the West African nation’s main oil terminal that handles its fuel imports, leading to widespread shortages.

“The government is pleased to announce to the population that, thanks to diplomatic efforts with neighbouring countries, fuel supply in gas stations will see a marked improvement,” it said late on Friday.

The news could reassure global markets, which saw Chinese alumina futures surge to record highs due to concerns that fuel shortages in Guinea, the world’s third-largest bauxite producer, could curb its exports of the alumina feed material.

The government said from Saturday gas stations would limit sales to 25 litres per car, 5 litres per motorcycle, while filling fuel cans is prohibited.

(Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Alessandra Prentice, Editing by Louise Heavens)