Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands - 3.1 Marshall Islands (RMI) Fuel

Fuel Overview

Most of the primary energy supply (88%) in RMI comes from petroleum, with biomass used for cooking accounting for nearly all the rest. Solar electricity generation is expanding rapidly but contributed to less than 12% of RMI energy in 2019. Biofuel from coconut oil is also increasing. Imported petroleum-based products are gasoline, diesel fuel, dual purpose kerosene (used both as aviation turbine fuel and household kerosene) and LPG.

There are two main fuel suppliers in RMI: state-owned Marshall Island Energy Company (MEC) and Mobil. Gasoline and aviation fuel (Jet A1 and Avgas) are imported by Mobil. Automotive diesel oil and LPG gas are imported and distributed by MEC. Diesel is primarily used to produce electricity throughout the major atolls and for the fishing industry and retail supply.

MEC is the state-owned utility company and in charge of generating and distributing 120V 60Hz electricity in Majuro, Jaluit and Wotje. Other islands are running on solar power. Due to the high purchase cost, the use of solar panels in Majuro and other islands is low. Taiwan has deployed a solar power program focused on the minor atolls/islands. MEC controls six power plants (75 kW to 13 MW) located on 5 different islands and provides support services to three small power plants on other islands. Additionally, MEC oversees the operation of the various water and sewage operations located on several islands. It is also responsible for implementing a nationwide renewable energy program covering 27 atolls. This entails upgrading diesel generation and network and control systems, followed by adopting renewable technologies and storage to achieve RMI’s renewable energy targets. Development partners are focused on renewable energy support. The World Bank is supporting solar photovoltaic and diesel power generation on Majuro. The EU is helping to improve energy efficiency, including replacement of transformers, and is supporting an energy sector management bill.

The Marshall Islands are served by two government-owned electric utility companies: Marshall Island Energy Company (MEC) and Kwajalein Atoll Joint Utilities Resources (KAJUR). MEC coordinates power generation and distribution services for the majority of RMI (Majuro, Jaluit and Wotje), while KAJUR, a subsidiary of MEC, services RMI’s second largest population centre, Ebeye.

In Majuro there is a 12.2 MW power plant with a 6-million-gallon diesel fuel storage capacity. In Jaluit and Wotje, both have a 275KW generator capacity available. There are four generators in Majuro that are more than 35 years old, and they are due to be replaced as they are becoming difficult and more expensive to keep in operation. There are also a 1 MW and 1.5 MW thermal generators at the site. The station can deliver 9.9 MW which is slightly above the peak load demand of 9 MW. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is donating four 1.8 MW generators, including an upgrade for the distribution network. The generators are onsite but are not yet operational. Majuro has three different feeders in place: Majuro town, Majuro hospital and Laura. Only in Majuro is there the capability to remotely monitor the electricity network. Information sharing with customers on blackouts and other issues are done via text messaging.

The power supply for Ebeye Island and surrounding islets consists of the generation plant containing three diesel generators (1.2 MW each) and associated power distribution network. The maximum peak demand of the island is 3 MW. Within Ebeye Island, the distribution network includes high voltage underground power lines, power transformers, junction boxes, as well as low voltage overhead distribution lines on power poles.

For more information on government and fuel provider contact details, please see the following links:

4.1 Government Contact List

4.7 Fuel Providers Contact List


Mobil aviation fuel bunker in Majuro


MEC Bunker in Majuro


MEC Retail propane filling station


Majuro central power generator


Gas station in Majuro


Gas station in Majuro


Fuel station at the Delap Dock in Majuro


KAJUR-managed generators in Ebeye


Diesel Powered Electricity

Diesel powered electricity generation is the main source of lighting used in the country, followed by solar energy. It imposes high costs and jeopardizes energy security. Protection system deficiencies impact the life and usability of the generators. Diesel generators are being replaced with smaller and more efficient units in the power station under an ongoing World Bank-funded project to ensure better renewable integration.

Fuel Pricing

Like other island nations in the Pacific, the RMI suffers from high and volatile fuel prices while lacking any known fossil fuel reserves of its own. Based on the Retail Price Monitoring Act from 1992, fuel is considered an essential commodity, and if prices charged by a retailer for any essential commodities are in excess of 25% over the actual cost paid for the essential commodity plus the relevant transportation and shipping costs, the Government can implement price controls.

Electricity rates are linked to fuel prices and are proposed by the MEC and approved by the government. Rates have not changed since 2014 and apply to all MEC and KAJUR grid customers. Cross subsidies apply in MEC where profits from fuel sales subsidize electricity customers and in KAJUR where electricity revenue subsidizes water costs. Government policy provides an electricity allowance of 1,000 kWh per month to owners of land on which MEC’s network assets are located.

Seasonal Variations 

Seasonal variations do not cause any changes in supply to the main port of Majuro, where fuel bunkers are located. Inter-island transport, however, can become vulnerable to delivery issues during the November to March rainy season.

Seasonal Variations

Are there national priorities in the availability of fuel? (i.e. are there restrictions or priorities for the provision of fuel such as to the military?)

Priority is electricity generation.

Is there a rationing system?


Is fuel to lower income / vulnerable groups subsidized?

Yes - Lifeline tariffs apply to 60% of customers. Cross subsidies apply in MEC where profits from fuel sales subsidize electricity customers and in KAJUR where electricity revenue subsidizes water costs. Government policy provides an electricity allowance of 1,000 kWh per month to owners of land on which MEC’s network assets are located.

Can the local industry expand fuel supplies to meet humanitarian needs?

Yes - MEC maintains a 4–6-week buffer of diesel for electricity generation

Is it possible for a humanitarian organization to directly contract a reputable supplier / distributor to provide its fuel needs?


Fuel Transportation

Bulk fuel is transported directly into Majuro to bulk tanks for Mobil and for the MEC. Fuel is transported using 15,000 Ltr  tankers. Bulk fuel supplies from Majuro are provided to the outer islands of Jaluit, Ebeye, Kili and Wotje for their central power generation. Outer island domestic supplies are carried in 20 Ltr and 200 Ltr Drums. Clipper Oil also service the substantial fishing industry with MGO and can provide by tanker Jet A1 and ULP.

Bulk inter-island fuel supplies are carried by way of vessel fuel tanks in 400-500 MT vessels. Vessels are supplied by MISCO, use the fuel tanks for storage and discharge at atoll ports. The atolls of Kili, Jaluit and Ebeye and Wotje all have central power generation requiring bulk fuel supplies.

Outer islands receive fuel in 20 and 200 liters drums for local refuelling of generators and vehicles.

Standards, Quality and Testing

There are no quality testing facilities in RMI. Fuel supplies are tested by SGS in Guam. Technical personnel are flown in to undertake sampling of imported bulk fuel upon arrival.

Industry Control Measures

Do tanks have adequate protection against water mixing with the fuel?

Bulk Fuel -No
Mobil uses sea water to pump into the bulk tanks when stocks are low. This has caused issues with fuel and seawater mixing, although not recently. MEC does not use sea water for this purpose

Are there filters in the system which monitor where fuel is loaded into aircraft?


Is there adequate epoxy coating of tanks on trucks?


Is there a presence of suitable firefighting equipment?



Jump to top