Oil firms commit to improve fire outbreak preparedness 

SOME oil marketing companies on Thursday demonstrated their commitment to heightening fire accident preparedness at their fuel depots at Kurasini area, Dar es Salaam.

Led by Oryx Energies, a total of about eight companies under the auspices of the Tanzania Association of Oil Marketing Companies (TAOMAC), staged a joint emergency drill at Kurasini’s Oryx Energies depot.

Oryx Managing Director of Oryx, Mr Kalpesh Mehta, they want to ensure that communities around their depots are safe.

“Since Tanzania is an entry point to six land-linked countries which import fuel through Dar es Salaam Port we must be leaders in advocating for safety,” Mr Mehta said.

He said petroleum product is highly flammable, adding that they have millions of litres of various petroleum products stored in all the terminals located within the Kurasini and Kigamboni axis.

“The risk of fire outbreak is high when handling and distributing these products overland by tankers to various local and transit destinations,” Mr Mehta noted.

Therefore, he stressed that the emergency drill staged yesterday was a vital component of fire safety management in highly hazardous installations with a volatile products like their storage terminal and oil jetties.

“Looking ahead, a joint emergency response plan for the axis will be developed with regular drills at respective terminals to simulate response from the Joint team members on unforeseen emergencies at the various terminals,” he noted.

Other companies which took part in the drills were Oil Com, Vivo Energy, Super Star, Camel Oil, and Asas, among others.

The emergency drill test focused on three important areas test including equipment, manpower and procedures.

Representatives of other companies unanimously welcomed the initiative of bringing together efforts to strengthen safety at oil depots.

Oil Com Operations Manager Mr Saleh Islam said the joint initiative was paramount for regularly testing the capabilities of the oil companies in responding to fire emergencies.

“During the emergence drill we noticed where our weaknesses are, and we are going to address them to improve our disaster preparedness,” Mr Islam said.

Camel Oil General Manager,   Mr Salim Baabde,also said the oil and energy sector supports the country’s economic growth, calling upon players to cooperate in strengthening safety systems.

During the event, Temeke Regional Fire Officer Maria Luoga, challenged companies to improve the emergency drill so that it really prepares the companies for such accidents.

She also called upon the companies to consider putting in place machinery for firefighting at Kurasini area where most farm tanks are.

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