A Swiss conglomerate in oil business, Augusta Energy, imported the fuel consignment after it won the tender to supply oil through BPS from January to June this year. TBS Acting Director Leandri Kinabo was quoted a few weeks ago, admitting that the standards watchdog conducts only tests on 11 parameters against the required 17.
It is on this backdrop that the importer of fuel through BPS used the loophole to import petrol that contained ethanol beyond the country’s allowable specifications. “TBS is really confusing us on this matter, after admitting that it does not conduct all the tests it still maintains that the disputed oil matched specifications of the land.
When did they test the fuel,” charged one of the stakeholders who preferred to remain anonymous. The Government Chemist Laboratory Agency (GCLA) has confirmed in its laboratory tests that the fuel in question was off specifications as far as ethanol quantum allowable for the local market is concerned.
“All is not well with the TBS, its results on the disputed oil leaves a lot of questions after the GCLA came out with the different results,” the stakeholder said. He charged that even the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, told the National Assembly recently that one of challenges facing BPS was importation of petrol with higher quantity of ethanol.
“Now why is a TBS issuing conflicting statements?” Worse still, TBS issued a public notice in a number of newspapers in the past warning against blending of petrol, better known as gasoline in the oil industry, with ethanol. “TBS wishes to inform all importers of gasoline that the current Tanzania Standard for gasoline (TZS 672:2009) does not allow for blending of gasoline with ethanol/alcohol. Imported gasoline found to be blended with ethanol/alcohol will not be allowed entry into Tanzania,” read part of the TBS notice.