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January 21, 2019

Tanker drivers ferrying dirty fuel to lose licences

A fuel tanker offloads petrol at a petrol station in Mombasa.Photo FILE
A fuel tanker offloads petrol at a petrol station in Mombasa.Photo FILE

Energy Regulatory Commission has kicked off operations to ban licenses of drivers found engaging in transportation of adulterated petroleum products.

This follows a tough warning on Wednesday this week notifying drivers on the consequences of engaging in the illicit trade.

The commission says that once adulterated, the petroleum products cause excessive engine wear which results to unreasonably high vehicle maintenance costs and undue distress to motorist.

Other groups of drivers targeted in this crackdown include those; diverting petroleum products destined for other markets into the local market, those found having parked a petroleum tanker in an unlicensed petroleum storage facility, and those proven to have driven carelessly while transporting the products.

In response to questions from the Star, the authority said Western and Mt. Kenya regions are the most notorious areas in adulterating petroleum products.

The operation which kicked of on Thursday has led to the arrest of at least five drivers who have already been banned from the transportation business.

ERC director general Pavel Oimeke said that In the calendar quarter ending March 31, 2018, at least 20 sites across the country were found with adulterated motor fuels.

Among the 20 were Downer's sites in Kasarani, Perazim and Imperial in Longonot , Mzee wa Nyama in Nakuru, BM in Meru, Jama in Kirinyaga , Rice Enterprises in Meru , unlicensed storage sites at Chulaimbo near Lela Market (Kisumu) and in Bukembe, Bungoma.

He further said that despite dealing with at least seven cases on fuel adulteration on a monthly basis, the success rate on the war stands at 97.4 per cent.

“ERC will strengthen the petroleum fuels marking and monitoring program and also intensify crackdown on unlicensed petroleum sites and petroleum road tanker drivers perpetrating the vice,” Oimeke said on their long term strategy to end the menace.


While that is the case, stakeholders in the industry and lawmakers have blamed the continued practice to the low cost of Kerosene.

During the second reading of the Energy Bill 2017 in Parliament on Wednesday evening this week, the Energy Committee proposed that the cost of Kerosene be increased to match that of diesel.

The proposal is also supported by ERC which says if implemented it will remove the incentive for adulteration.

Currently, a liter of Kerosene in Nairobi goes for Sh77.45 against Sh97.86 for diesel as indicated in the latest month to month retail pump prices by the commission.

This means that according to the lawmakers and ERC, the price of Kerosene should be increase by 20.85 per cent in order to discourage fuel adulteration.













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