Reuben Mwambingu @reubenmwambingu
Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has warned that no transporter will be allowed to load or ferry petroleum products without valid licence starting June 4.
Director general Pavel Oimeke reiterated that all oil tanker drivers will be required to have special permits issued by the agency for them to load and transport the products.
The move is part of the regulator’s bid to boost professionalism in the transport of fuel across the country as well as minimise potential adulteration and theft along the way.
Cases of fatal tanker explosions, cases of diversion of export-bound products and ferrying of adulterated petroleum have been common in the industry.
“All persons transporting petroleum products by road have been put on notice. By June 4, road tankers without valid licences from ERC shall not be allowed to load or transport petroleum,” Oimeke said at the awareness workshop on the licensing of petroleum road Tankers at a Mombasa hotel.
The speech was read on his behalf by ERC senior technical officer in charge of environment, health and safety, Silas Sanga, Oimeke said that before obtaining the licence to ferry petroleum products by road, transporters would also have to abide by a raft of standard requirements which include ensuring that drivers involved have a specialised training in handling of petroleum products.
He said only drivers with basic training in petroleum safety and defensive driving would be permitted to ferry petroleum products by road.
“The risk posed by drivers of oil tanks is high. This is why we also have to ensure owners of the tankers are well prepared with adequate response plans to mitigate any eventuality,” said Oimeke.
“Petroleum handlers must now ensure that tankers are driven on designated routes and parked at designated areas,” he added.