Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) says disseminating regulations and guidelines to stakeholders in the retail market for liquid fuels and gas would help to improve standards and ensure safety in the petroleum sector.
Mera chief executive officer (CEO) Collins Magalasi said this on Friday when they engaged key stakeholders of the petroleum retail business to sensitise them to new operational regulations and guidelines.
He said the authority is raising awareness on standards and regulations that players in the trade must adhere to.
“We now have standards that are part of the law which makes it mandatory for players in the petroleum retail business to abide by,” Magalasi said.
The guidelines, among others, stipulate that a service station should be located within a one-kilometre radius of an operational service station in urban settings or residential areas and that a proposed site be located within 100-metres radius of any public institution which are normally overcrowded.
“Liquid fuels and gas business is vital to the economy of any country, but also accept that it is a very sensitive and risky business that needs to be handled with care; hence, the emphasis on adherence to standards to avoid fire accidents and oil spillages,” Magalasi said.
In her remarks, Mera director of fuel and gases Alinafe Mkavea said the regulations ought to be adhered to considering there is a surge in investment in the service station business.
The country has about 200 service stations with some constructed without following the guidelines, according to Mkavea.
Mera is carrying out inspections across the country to assess the operational safety of service stations. n