In order to mitigate the repercussions of the rise in international prices on the national market, the Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Leila Benali, announced the creation of a technical commission to monitor the supply of the stock of oil products. This commission will be made up of representatives of its department, of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and of the Compensation Fund.
The Minister made this announcement on Tuesday in response to an oral question posed to the House of Councilors concerning the strategy for reducing the energy bill. She explained in this sense that the government is working closely with private operators to increase storage capacity and that the level of the stock of petroleum products has increased by 187,000 cubic meters since the beginning of 2023. This additional storage is equivalent to a duration of 7 to 19 days for an investment of 800 million dirhams, she said.
The Minister also announced an investment of 1.2 billion dirhams in partnership with the private sector to increase the stock to 370,000 cubic meters. This additional storage is equivalent to a duration of 6 to 17 days for petroleum products. In addition, she said that an investment of 700 million dirhams will increase the stock by 255,000 cubic meters, or 10 to 12 days of stock.
In addition, Leila Benali noted that the storage capacity of the SAMIR refinery is 345,000 tonnes of diesel, which represents the equivalent of 22 days of consumption.
In response to another question on the increase in water and electricity bills, the Minister pointed out that the current tariffs have not been increased since 2017. She clarified that progressive billing for subscribers not exceeding a monthly consumption of 150 kilowatt-hours (KWh) takes into account the purchasing power of people with limited income, who represent 80% of subscribers according to data from the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water ( ONEE).
For the other subscribers (20%), selective billing is established according to the block system to encourage them to moderate their energy consumption. The Minister also mentioned that ONEE uses meter index readings and has introduced prepaid meters in rural areas.
She added that ONEE is gradually generalizing the monthly reading of the meter index to avoid errors, noting that local ONEE services are required to process complaints and verify the correctness of the quantities consumed. In the event of an error, the services must carry out the necessary revisions so that subscribers pay the fair price of their consumption, concluded the minister.