Shell stations cease kerosene sale to avert adulteration

March 21, 2016
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Over 96 percent of petroleum outlets in the country were free from contaminated fuel according to the Energy Regulatory Commission/FILE
Over 96 percent of petroleum outlets in the country were free from contaminated fuel according to the Energy Regulatory Commission/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – Vivo Energy Kenya will stop the sale of kerosene at Shell service stations from midnight Monday to minimise chances of fuel adulteration.

The firm said the matter of adulterated fuel had been discussed, resolved and finalized with the Energy Regulatory Commission and any affected stations are now operational after complying with the regulator’s instructions.

“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 a statement.

The firm apologized to its kerosene customers for the sweeping action.

“Vivo Energy Kenya values its customers and always aims to provide quality products and services therefore providing lasting peace of mind for our customers,” the firm said.

Over 96 percent of petroleum outlets in the country were free from contaminated fuel according to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

Data gathered by the commission across the country between September 2015 and February 2016 indicates that 96.2 percent of the 1,493 petroleum outlets tested were found to be complaint with 56 stations recording non-compliance.

A total of 8,945 tests were carried out in 1,493 petroleum outlets with the purpose of singling out non-compliant traders.

The petroleum outlets that failed the tests were “required to upgrade the adulterated petroleum where applicable and also to pay penalties and taxes to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) before they were allowed to resume business,” ERC said.

Petroleum adulteration is mixing of diesel with kerosene or super petrol with kerosene in order to take advantage of lower taxes on kerosene.

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

According to ERC, 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,” the commission stated.

In September 2015, ERC launched a retailer self-test kit.

“Public vigilance is a key element 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,” the Commission stated.

This comes as fuel prices continue to drop.

According to the latest review, A litre of super petrol has gone down by 92 cents to retail at Sh85.58 per litre in Nairobi, diesel by Sh2.18 to Sh65.70 while kerosene dropped by Sh2.53 to Sh42.15 per litre.

The marginal decline has been attributed to improved import costs in the month to February compared to January.

The drop has also been due to the lower prices in the international market.

During the review in February fuel prices reduced significantly where diesel went down by Sh8.82 per litre, super petrol by Sh2.14 per litre and kerosene by Sh6.51.

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