The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has noted with concern the use of unauthorised portable containers, particularly plastic, to buy or store fuel which poses great risk to both human life and property.
Members of the public are therefore cautioned against using unauthorised plastic containers. In recent times, a dangerous practice has emerged where fuel is purchased from filling stations using authorised portable containers such as metal jerricans, but is later transferred to unsafe plastic containers. The unauthorised containers containing fuel are then stored and transported, in some instances, using wheelbarrows. This is a serious safety hazard as petroleum products, particularly petrol, is highly flammable. This practice is greatly discouraged to avoid safety hazards that may result in loss of life.
In order to safeguard life and property, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and dealers are reminded to only sell fuel to consumers with the authorised type of portable containers as per conditions of their operating licences. In addition, Licensees are reminded to adhere to all conditions especially the following clauses of the Zambian Standard; ZS 385: THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY – Code of Practice – Part 5: Operational Requirements at Service Stations, under the following:
Clause 220.127.116.11 which states as follows:
“Fuel shall only be dispensed into approved and properly identified portable containers, with or without dispensing spouts, nozzles or hoses and equipped with vents and screw tops or self-closing gravity, spring action or combination fusible link covers designed to provide pressure relief” and
Clause 18.104.22.168 which states that:
“Portable containers which contain fuel or vapours shall be properly stored in approved storage cabinets or rooms away from sources of heat and ignition”.
Furthermore, OMCs and dealers are directed to observe all safety requirements and vigilantly guard against unsafe practices such as decanting at or near filling stations by customers, to avoid safety hazards.
The ERB is also appealing to members of the public who buy fuel using authorised portable containers to comply with the prescribed safety standards. As such, the ERB is calling for stakeholder cooperation to ensure compliance to safety requirements by all operators.
To report any safety breaches at or near fuel retail facilities, members of the public are encouraged to call the ERB on the Toll Free Line 8484 or report to any ERB Office in Lusaka, Kitwe, Livingstone or Chinsali.