Government of Sao Tome and Principe raises price of fuel

5 September 2007

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 5 Sept – The government of Sao Tome and Principe has decided to raise the price of fuel, namely gasoline, diesel and oil, by 25, 14 and 23 percent, respectively, the Sao Tome minister of Planning and Finance said Tuesday.

Maria Tebus, who is also Sao Tome’s deputy prime minister, said that the decision had been made based on a proposal from state fuel and oil company, ENCO due to the successive rises in price on the international market.

In the new price chart, which went into force early Tuesday, a liter of gasoline, which used to cost 16,000 dobras, rose to 20,000 dobras.

Sao Tome analysts expect that this rise will lead to increased prices for other products and services on the archipelago, where some 54 percent of the population live on less than US$1 per day.

Despite much talk of the start of oil exploration in the exclusive waters of Sao Tome and Principe with an oil bloc tender due to be launched at the beginning of 2008, Angolan oil company Sonangol remains the archipelago’s only fuel supplier through ENCO, which has the monopoly on sale of fuel in the country.

ENCO, which is majority-owned by the state, is 40-percent owned by Sonangol and a further 9 percent of the company is in the hands of private Sao Tome investors. (macauhub)