On June 8 the ministry of energy issued a letter to the national company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, requesting a temporary ban on the import of aviation fuel from Russia starting June 14, QazMonitor reports citing the national company’s press service.
According to the official statement issued by the ministry, the temporary month-long ban aims to address the excessive inflow of jet fuel imports from Russia and reduce the risks of inventory overflow, as the lack of demand from domestic aviation services reduces the processing capacity of domestic oil refineries.
The ministry also reported on the presence of over 420 tank cars, amounting to 25,000 tons, near Almaty, and over 100 cars, equivalent to 6,000 tons, near Astana. The current weather conditions in both locations create a fire and explosion hazardous situation on the railroad, as the atmospheric temperatures consistently hover between 20°C and 30°C.
Concerns regarding the inventory overflow were previously raised during the Kazakhstan Aviation Talks held in May this year. Daulet Khamzin, ex-chair of the Astana International Airport, voiced several suggestions to alleviate the shortage of aviation fuel in Kazakhstan.
"The [Astana] airport's fuel costs are not competitive compared to other airports, which hinders the attraction of new airlines for transit flights. To address the scarcity of aviation fuel and lubricants, it is necessary to mandate oil companies to increase oil processing at domestic refineries, expand imports from not only Russia but also other neighboring countries, and establish a national operator responsible for importing aviation fuel and lubricants to ensure reserves during periods of production shortfalls," said Khamzin.