Over 50 fuel outlets risk closure for selling contaminated fuel

Over 50 fuel outlets risk closure for selling contaminated fuel
File image of a fuel pump. PHOTO| COURTESY

56 fuel outlets stand to lose their licenses after they were discovered to be operating illegal businesses.

According to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the outlets had been either selling contaminated fuel or fuel in transit to neighboring countries.

Petroleum fuels continues to constitute the main source of commercial energy in Kenya but there have been reports that people are diverting the petroleum products meant for export in to the Kenyan local market with the aim of evading taxes.

According to the ERC, their gas increased competition of illegal fuel practices including diversion of petroleum products meant for export into domestic market and also adulteration of motor fuels with kerosene.

The ERC carried out 8,945 tests in 1,493 petroleum outlets with 96.2 percent of those tested found to be compliant

“However, 75 tests from 56 stations turned out to be non compliant,” the regulator said in an ad in the dailies.

The energy regulator has pushed the government to increase the price of kerosene, arguing that its low price had made attractive for illegal business to mix it with super petrol and diesel.

The regulator has called on county commissioners to revoke the licenses of operators found to be cutting corners.

29 of the affected outlets remain closed with the ones that have re-opened charged penalties and taxes ranging between Sh300,000 and Sh1 million.

According to ERC, all petroleum operators are required to comply with provisions for Environment Health and Safety. Petroleum products should also meet the relevant Kenya Standards.

The energy regulator has cracked down on illegal fuel siphoning especially on transit bound trucks, after it emerged that the market had been flooded with contraband fuel.

Story by Joan Macharia

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