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ERC names 56 petrol stations selling adulterated fuel

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has exposed tens of unscrupulous oil marketers who have been using kerosene to adulterate fuel before selling it to unsuspecting motorists.

In the last six months, ERC says it has taken action against 56 petrol stations that were found culpable of selling adulterated oil or oil meant for export markets.

Names of the offending pump stations are published in Monday’s Daily Nation newspaper. Only three are in Nairobi. They are Shell Valley Road service station, Dakawou Transport Limited and Roy Hauliers.

A statement from the commission accused the named oil marketers of mixing of diesel with kerosene or super petrol with kerosene in order to take advantage of the lower taxes on kerosene.

STATIONS CLOSED

They have had their stations closed, while others have been reopened after compliance and paying a fine of between Sh300,000 and Sh1.1 million.

“Petroleum adulteration poses serious health, environmental, operational and economic hazards. Contaminated petrol and diesel causes engine malfunction resulting in exhaust fumes that are of great health concern,” read the statement in part.

“Furthermore, petroleum adulteration and diversion of export fuel constitute theft of tax revenue; money that would have been used to fund such public services as education, health, security, infrastructure development, among others.”

SELF-TEST KIT

In September 2015, ERC launched a retailer self-test kit. The self-testing mechanism has benefited petroleum retailers who now test fuel products upon delivery before accepting it into their storage tanks.

Dumping of export products involves diverting fuel meant for neighboring countries and selling it locally because the export products are not taxed in Kenya.

ERC has urged members of the public to be vigilant and help it in cracking down on fuel adulteration.

ERC encourages anyone aware of illegal petroleum practices to inform the Commission on its hotline number (0708 444 000), which is operational during normal working hours.

UPDATE: Vivo Energy, the operators of Shell, which had been named by ERC, says the matter of the adulterated fuels has been discussed, resolved and finalized with ERC and the stations are now operational after complying with the regulator’s instructions as indicated on the advertisement.

“Given that Kerosene is the main component of adulteration in both Super and Diesel, Vivo Energy Kenya has with effect from midnight tonight stopped selling Kerosene at all Shell Service Stations in order to minimise any chance of fuel adulteration,” Vivo Energy said in statement.