At least 67 fuel stations across the country have failed to comply with the set standards in the four months, the Ugandan government has warned.
Government, through the Energy Ministry, said in a statement that the filling stations were faulted after their products failed the test that was carried out during a joint monitoring by the Energy ministry and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards.
The faulted stations are listed in the fuel marking and quality monitoring programme report covering the period from the month of December 2018 to March this year.
The Commissioner in charge of Petroleum Supply Department, Rev. Justaf Frank Tukwasibwe said that the filling stations failed on petroleum Motor Spirit (petrol), diesel, parts per million and relative standard deviation.
“The public may be aware that the department of petroleum supply in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development routinely carries out inspection and monitoring of downstream petroleum facilities and products to ensure that they do comply with the standards. For products quality, the department carries out this task with the UNBS under the Fuel Marking and Quality monitoring programme,” he explained.
Rev. Tukwasibwe told the public that the ministry have sealed off the listed filling stations in addition to the penalties.
“For licensed stations, the concerned companies were/ are to be issued with a default notice as per Section 16(2) of the Petroleum Supply (General) Regulations of 2009. The stations will be unsealed upon furnishing the Commissioner for petroleum Supply with satisfactory remedial actions taken and a written undertaking committing such a default in the remaining period of their petroleum operating license,” he said.
According to the statement, the unlicensed stations would remain sealed until regularization and attending to requisite remedial actions with due caution.
“All unlicensed stations hitherto encountered during our routine monitoring exercises and that have not been regularized will be published in the print media soonest possible after due compilation,” he added.
Rev. Tukwasibwe informed the public that the ministry’s resolve is to ensure that petroleum products on the Ugandan Market do progressively comply with the set standards and that they offer value for money to the citizens in a free and fair competitive environment.
He also revealed that the failure rate has dropped from 29.1 percent in November 2009 to 0.6 percent in March 2019.
“The public is hereby further reminded that the Petroleum Suppy Act 2003 requires any person interested in the trade of (importation, exportation, transportation, storage, wholesale and retail of) petroleum products in Uganda to first obtain a license from the Commissioner for Petroleum Supply Department,” he said.
Rev. Tukwasibwe said that the law requires one to first obtain a permit from the said commissioner for the concerned proprietor to construct or install any petroleum facility for such trade.
Section 23 of the Petroleum Supply Act of 2003 provides for suspension or revocation of a permit or license.
Section 23(a) provides that a permit may be suspended by the Commissioner where there is a contravention of any provision of the Act or any other enactment concerning protection of occupational health, public safety and the environment or for any other reason stated by or under the Act.
Section 239(b) states that a permit or license may be revoked by the commissioner where the holder fails to remedy or repeats any contravention of any provisions of the Act.
By David Sseguya