By Billy Rwothungeyo
Authorities are turning their guns on transporters contracted by oil marketing companies in the fight against adulterated fuels on the market.
Rev. Justaf Frank Tukwasibwe, the commissioner of petroleum supply in the energy ministry, explained why close attention is going to be paid to transporters.
“That (transporting oil products) is where there is a big challenge. From the records, they load products that meet the right specifications at loading terminals. Yet when you go to the market, you find that the parameters have changed,” he said.
Speaking last week at the fuel marking and quality monitoring programme workshop in Kampala, Tukwasibwe warned transporters that they risk having their licenses revoked if involved in adulterating fuels.
“When you come with your product, and we find that it is out of specifications, we will simply turn you back. I hope that the industry will understand and that when this is eventually done, there will be no shortage,” he said.
David Livingstone Ebiru of Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) said adulteration is usually done between the loading terminals in Eldoret and Kisumu on the Kenya side and the Ugandan border areas of Busia and Malaba.
“We are not going to exonerate the transporters who are going to load from these areas, they should be aware of what is going on (in their trucks),” he said.
Ebiru noted that many a time, fuels come to the East African shores in good quality, but are a far cry from the proper standard by the time the consumers pay for it.
“If quality fuels reach the ports, how come they reach Uganda well off specifications on the documents?” he said.
Ebiru also said authorities will also look beyond trucks travelling from Kenya to Uganda—but also what happens to the fuels transported from the big depots in the city to retail stations across the country.
“If we have ensured the quality of fuel from Malaba to depots, how does a consumer then buy bad quality fuel from a retailer? It (adulteration) is being done at depots or through the transit to the retailer or by the retailer himself,” he said