Friday, March 1, 2024

ERB warns filling stations that are hoarding fuel


Energy Regulations Board (ERB) offices
Energy Regulations Board (ERB) offices

Board (ERB) has taken stern measures to guarantee smooth supply of fuel in various parts of the country.

One of these measures is a warning to filling stations that are hoarding fuel and only serving account holders.

The board has also assured the nation that measures are currently in place to normalise fuel supply in the country.

ERB public relations manager, Kwali Mfuni said in a statement yesterday that filling stations that were in the habit of hoarding products and only serving account holders were doing so contrary to their licence conditions.

“During periods of scarcity, ERB is cautioning filling stations that are in the habit of hoarding products and only serving account holders, that this is a violation of their licence conditions,” Ms Mfuni said.

The licence conditions state that the licensee shall not hoard petroleum products, nor show undue preference to, or exercise undue discrimination against any particular persons or people of any class or description as regards any aspect of the provision of petroleum products or any service under the licence.

Ms Mfuni also said the ERB had received reports that some fuel attendants were taking advantage of perceived fuel shortages by refusing to sell to motorists in preference for vendors from whom they were soliciting payment.

“The ERB is aware of an incident in Mazabuka where an attendant refused to refuel vehicles of motorists, but instead sold to consumers with containers at K10,” she said.

Illegal fuel vendors were allegedly selling a five-litre container at K100, which is double the normal price.

The ERB will take enforcement action against Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) whose employees are involved in the practice.

Ms Mfuni urged the public to be vigilant and report such malpractices to the ERB or call on toll free line 8080.

The ERB assured the nation that measures to normalise the national fuel supply had also been put in place.

The board is, therefore, appealing for an end to the unnecessary speculation of fuel shortages, which could create anxiety and consequently result in panic-buying.

Ms Mfuni said the ERB had continued to monitor the fuel supply situation as stocks rolled into the country.

She said the stock levels had shown a steady improvement mainly owing to the Government authorising OMCs to import refined products and the recent availability of feedstock at Indeni Petroleum Refinery.

This would complement the importation of petroleum products which has always been done by the Government.

The Government has also suspended customs duty on diesel and petrol.


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