The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), a watchdog for Kenya’s fuel industry, has carried out raids at 12 unlicensed petroleum storage facilities. The raid comes at a time when Kenya is gearing up to become a major fuel exporter in East Africa. The country has, in recent years, discovered ample fuel reserves in its Turkana region.
The raids were carried out in partnership with the country’s National Police Service (NPS), Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and General Service Unit (GSU) in Industrial Area, in the capital city of Nairobi.
During the exercise, 99 suspects were arrested and will be charged with various offences among them; Construction of petroleum storage facilities without a permit; Operation of petroleum storage facility without a license; Possession of adulterated motor fuels; as well as Possession of export bound motor fuels.
A total of 62,350 liters of super petrol, 160,100 litres of Diesel and 159,200 liters of kerosene were recovered during the raid. 12 sites that were found to have contravened the regulations as stipulated in a law known as the Energy Act 2006 will be demolished.
In accordance to Section 95 of Kenya’s Energy Act, it is an offence to transport, store or offer for sale adulterated petroleum products.
Adulterated fuel has adverse effects on our economy, public safety, causes excessive engine wear, causes loss of energy through incomplete combustion and also causes air pollution.
The Commission, together with other enforcing agencies, has been stepping up efforts to curtail the vice. As such, the level of adulteration has reduced from a high of 25% 19 years ago to 3% as at 2017.
“To supplement the Commission’s surveillance efforts, members of the public are invited to report any suspected cases of motor fuels adulteration. Motorists who experience jerking, excessive smoke from the exhaust, loss of engine power and sometimes complete engine stalls immediately after fueling are urged to report immediately to the Commission,” ERC officials said in a statement issued this week.
The Commission now plans to undertake comprehensive tests on motor fuels in suspect retail stations and sanction operators selling non-conforming motor fuels.