Ethiopia is set to close decades-old business rel ations on petroleum imports with Middle East countries, prefering instead to tur n to neighbouring Sudan for all its annual oil supply in less than a month, accor d ing to Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise.
Accordingly, Sudan Petroleum Corporation (Sudapet), the state-owned oil producin g giant, heads toward becoming Ethiopiaâ?s only Benzene supplier for the next ye ar, ending the fuel imports from the Middle East that lasted for ages at least f o r a year.
The Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise said that the Sudanese oil company would begi n supplying 100 percent of Ethiopiaâ?s annual benzene consumption as of next mon th.
An agreement, signed five years ago between Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise, a st ate-owned and sole importer of fuel, and Sudan, was to expire this year.
However, earlier this year, a new benzene supplying agreement was signed between the two governments, extending their cooperation for another year.
The Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise has planned to import 2,176,188 tonnes of fue l, including benzene, with projected budget of US$ 1.42 billion for the just sta r ted fiscal year.
This yearâ?s volume exceeds that of last year by 500,000 tonnes.
In the past five years, benzene supplies from Sudan had climbed from less than 1 0 per cent to 82 per cent of Ethiopiaâ?s annual consumption.
The Horn of Africa country had been spending massive amounts for inspection and vessel costs to import fuel all the way from the Middle East.
This makes the benzene that comes from Sudan significantly cheaper.
According to the Petroleum Enterprise, Ethiopia saves millions of dollars every year by importing from neighboring Sudan instead of imports of Middle East and o t her destinations abroad via the port of Djibouti.
Ethiopia spends over 50 per cent of its total export earnings to meet nationâ?s fuel demand and Sudan has now become the major source for the fact that it is o n ly next door.
In return, the vast country of Sudan imports agricultural products and livestock from Ethiopia. It actually is one of the biggest importing countries of Ethiopi a n products