As part of US$30m expansion, Puma doubles airport fuel capacity to match rising demand

Puma Energy has opened a new storage facility that doubles its storage at RGM International Airport, as part of its US$30 million expansion in the Zimbabwe market.

The new facility, built for US$3 million, doubles Puma’s fuel storage capacity at the airport to one million litres. Puma Energy recently announced a commitment to invest US$30 million into the Zimbabwean market over the next three years. The money will go into expanding its retail fuel network and storage facilities, as well as towards renewable energy and community investments.

Puma says it is adding capacity at the airport to match an anticipated growth in demand from airlines, who have added frequency into the airport in recent years. The site will operate 24 hours a day and supply clients such as Ethiopian Airlines, RwandAir, Air Malawi, Air Botswana and FastJet with jet A-1 fuel that meets international aviation standards.

Donatien Kodog, General Manager of Puma Energy Zimbabwe, said: “We believe this will significantly increase the country’s aviation fuel storage capacity, ensuring a reliable supply to meet the growing demands of the aviation industry. This investment demonstrates our dedication to supporting Zimbabwe’s economic growth and development.”

The importance of building larger storage facilities has become clearer after the global supply chain disruptions and price fluctuations seen in the last two years. These resulted in fuel shortages at some airports in the region. According to Energy Minister Edgar Moyo, Zimbabwe is looking to expand its aviation infrastructure to meet growth in sectors such as tourism, where arrivals are said to have increased by 54% between 2022 and 2023.

“This infrastructure development not only signifies a strategic move towards bolstering the nation’s aviation sector, it also serves as a pivotal step in supporting our rapidly developing tourism industry and the country’s industrialization ambitions,” Moyo says.

Estimates are that Africa will see a 56% growth in hydrocarbon fuel demand by 2040, with jet A1 demand expected to rise by 67%. In Zimbabwe, Puma Energy runs a retail network of 50 service stations, serves four airports and operates one terminal and four storage depots.