Gov’t to go after watered-down fuel

Filling stations could have their fuel licence withdrawn if they are caught selling substandard fuel or short measure, parliament heard last week.

Deputy Minister for Energy U Aung Htoo announced on November 18 that the ministry had imported six mobile fuel laboratories that would soon set out across the country to carry out inspections.

The deputy minister was responding to a question from Major Zawana, a military representative in Amyotha Hluttaw, concerning standards of fuel quality and measurement in private filling stations and actions taken when stations fail to meet those standards.

U Aung Htoo said that once fit-out of the labs was finished the ministry “will carry out a broad inspection of filling stations across the country”.

Customers with complaints about fuel quality or measure at a filling station can inform the local supervisory committee for fuel importation, stocking and distributing in their region or state, including Nay Pyi Taw Council area, U Aung Htoo said.

“If we find failure to reach the required standard of fuel quality and measurement, we can revoke the filling station’s fuel distribution licence temporarily,” he said.

Inspections to ensure stations are giving the right amount of fuel have been undertaken since 2012, with one-third of those inspected found to have been cheating customers. U Aung Htoo said the Ministry of Energy inspected 196 private filling stations in Yangon, Mandalay, Bago and Ayeyarwady regions and Mon State between September 2012 to June 2013 and found 65 had failed to meet standards.

It shut down five of them for three months and 39 stations for one month, and issued warnings to 21 others. The ministry also issued warnings on September 9 to two filling stations in Ayeyarwady Region for selling substandard fuel, out of five stations inspected.

The Ministry of Energy’s Myanma Petrochemical Enterprise (MPE) produces petrol at refineries in Thanlyin and Chauk and the petrochemical factory at Than Payar Kan. However, this is not enough to meet domestic demand, and imported petrol and diesel is being distributed to about 1300 filling stations across the country.


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