The East African Region has decided to harmonise fuel standards to get rid of current irregularities experienced from one country to another.
The Acting Director General of the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Mr Leandri Kinabo, told the ‘Daily News’ that the decision, reached in Arusha in June this year will clear the confusions on fuel specifications in each of the member states.
“We are currently waiting for the announcement to appear in the government gazette before implementation of the decision starts within or less than six months as stipulated by the law,” he said.
He said the outcome of the Arusha meeting was positively received by local stakeholders who have been complaining of sub-standard fuel following the introduction of Bulk Procurement System (PBS).
Stakeholders in the oil business have also challenged TBS to come out clean on its contradicting position regarding petrol with higher levels of ethanol that was imported during January and March this year through BPS. The fuel consignment was imported by a Swiss conglomerate in oil business, Augusta Energy, which won tenders to supply oil through BPS from January to June this year.
The standards watchdog has admitted that it conducts tests on only 11 parameters against the required 17 parameters. Stakeholders have observed that the importer of fuel through BPS could use such 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,” one of the stakeholders who preferred anonymity said yesterday.
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. It is because of the contradicting results that the Petroleum Importation Coordinator (PIC) has asked TBS and GCLA to reconcile their results so that it could take relevant action against Augusta.