ERB Shuts 12 Filling Stations

THE Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has with immediate effect closed 12 filling stations following country-wide inspections which revealed grave operational irregularities at the affected retail outlets.

ERB executive director, Langiwe Lungu said the filling stations were being shut down for non-compliance with ERB technical standards.

Ms Lungu said compliance monitoring inspections were conducted by the ERB between April and May this year.

To this effect, Ms Lungu directed five oil marketing companies (OMCs) to immediately cease operating the non-compliant sites until the identified anomalies were rectified.

She warned that failure by the OMCs to adhere to the directive would result in the ERB carrying out enforcement action without further recourse to them.

“Some of the anomalies detected during the ERB inspections ranged from lack of free toilet facilities, leak detection wells, sand buckets, compressors, tyre inflators, functional pressure gauges and price displays,” Ms Lungu said.

She said the ERB was concerned that its inspectorate found that some sites had expired fire extinguishers, exposed pumps or dispensers, defective emergency shut-off switches and invisible safety signs.

Other defects were faded product colour coding, potholes on the forecourt, inadequate fire protection covers, clogged drainage systems and oil interceptors.

Ms Lungu said from a service point of view, the ERB noted low levels of safety awareness and vigilance among some fuel attendants while one station was being run by an untrained and incompetent supervisor.

The affected filling stations are Kapiri Service Station in Kapiri Mposhi and KMB Service Station in Kitwe managed by Continental Oil Corporation Limited.

Engen Petroleum Zambia Limited’s stations included Engen Makoli Road and Northrise Service Station in Ndola as well as JDB and Freetown Road Service Station in Kitwe.

Others are filling stations managed by Mount Meru Petroleum Limited, namely, Kafue Road and Palmgreen in Lusaka, Farmers and Nakonde Service stations in Nampundwe and Nakonde, respectively.

Ms Lungu named the others as Petrotech Oil Corporation Limited’s Kabwe and Garneton Service stations in Kabwe and Kitwe, respectively, and Suban Petroleum Limited’s Masala retail in Ndola.

“Members of the public are hereby aised that the said service stations will not be open to the public or be allowed to conduct business until the regulator conducts verification inspections to ensure identified anomalies are rectified,” she said.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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