The Ministry of Energy and Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) have published a list of 75 pump stations said to be selling adulterated fuel over the last quarter.
A notice signed by Rev Frank Tukwasibwe, the commissioner of Petroleum Supply department in the ministry indicates that the 75 pump stations had failed the quarterly fuel marking exercise which distinguishes adulterated fuel from the unadulterated one.
Fuel marking is where a chemical code named marker, either T1 for petrol and diesel or T2 for kerosene, is put into fuel and through a testing process, adulterated fuel can be distinguished from the unadulterated one. The notice indicated that in addition to penalties, the fuel stations in question had been sealed off by the ministry’s enforcement, and “will be unsealed after furnishing the commissioner with satisfactory remedial actions taken and a written undertaking of not committing such a default in the remaining period of their operating license.”
According to the circular, the pump stations in question are located in, among other districts, Wakiso, Masaka, Mayuge, Mbarara, Kyenjojo, and Ntungamo. Wakiso and Masaka topped the list with many fuel pumps selling unadulterated fuel. The fuel marking exercise was introduced in Uganda in 1999 by ministry of Energy working with fuel marketing companies.
The Petroleum Supply Act 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 in the ministry. The same applies to anyone interested in constructing a petrol station. There are more than 2,000 fuel pump stations in the country, many of which do not meet the standards.