EWURA bans petrol stations over fuel hoarding

TANZANIA : THE Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) has suspended three petrol stations for a period of six months over hoarding of fuel and violating regulations and their licences’ requirements.

The suspended stations are Camel Oil-Gairo Petrol Station in Morogoro, Petcom-Mbalizi Petrol Station in Mbeya and Rashal Petroleum Ltd-Mkalama.

EWURA’s Director-General Dr James Andindile confirmed yesterday that the stations were found hoarding fuel unlawfully and, in response, the Authority’s Board of Directors imposed the punishment as a stern warning to others.

Dr Andindile revealed that three other stations are under investigation for further action.

With this new development, it makes five a total number of suspended stations after the regulator suspended Camel Oil fuel stations in Msamvu and Matmeba, located in the Morogoro Region earlier this month. The two filling stations were also suspended for a period of six months.

EWURA found evidence of fuel hoarding in the depots of wholesalers who refused to supply it to the stations.

The EWURA DG emphasised that lack of compliance with licensing terms by fuel dealers has contributed to fuel shortages in some regions of the country.

Some dealers have been stockpiling fuel, causing delays in distribution, while others have fuel in storage but are not selling it, causing significant inconvenience to the public.

According to the Petroleum Act, Chapter 392, the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority is tasked with regulating fuel matters to ensure a continuous fuel supply in the country.

Dr Andindile stated that their actions are in line with the directives of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy, Dr Doto Biteko, who called for strict measures to address the fuel shortage challenge.

“For now, we are taking three critical steps to address this challenge: firstly, reviewing our existing systems for improvement, secondly, revising the pricing system to ensure all stakeholders fulfill their roles and thirdly, reviewing licensing conditions,” he explained.

He emphasised that EWURA’s purpose is to enhance services for Tanzanians and there are procedures and regulations in place that define rights and responsibilities.

“Fuel stations and companies have a duty and EWURA has the responsibility to ensure compliance with licence conditions,” the Director-General clarified.

He urged fuel traders and storage facility owners to remember that licences are granted for the provision of services, not for hoarding or other purposes.

He also encouraged citizens to report to EWURA dishonest fuel service providers for monitoring and improvement purposes, assuring the public that shutting down non-compliant businesses will not negatively impact fuel availability.

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