Lab results of samples of fuel Puma Energy Malawi sent for testing have indicated a possibility of a presence of a foreign particle in the fuel, Puma managing director Davies Lanjesi has said.
Puma Energy Limited instituted investigations last week to establish claims from some customers who fuelled their vehicles at selected Puma service stations in Lilongwe, resulting in their vehicles developing faults.
This was against the background of reports that three Puma Service Stations namely Area 23, Gemini and Area 18 in Lilongwe received a consignment of contaminated petrol last weekend.
But Lanjesi, in an interview on Wednesday via e-mail, said the lab results have indicated a possibility of a presence of a product on the petrol that increased the density of the petrol towards its maximum range as per the current product specification.
He said: “The results indicate that the product density remained within acceptable range. Apparently no new complaints have been received since the sites received a new stock of petrol.”
Lanjesi was, however, quick to mention that the company is currently getting samples from customer vehicles to verify if they indeed bought fuel from the three sites during period between December 2 and 4.
“This verification exercise will take a few more days before we can conclude on a number of affected customers. [But] we shall assist the customers accordingly.”
Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) consumer affairs and public relations manager Fitina Khonje said their office is yet to receive findings of the samples that were sent for testing.
“Puma communicated to us about the issue and we had sent the samples for testing just as they did, but we have not received the results yet. Until we receive the results, we will not comment further on the issue,” she said.
But in an earlier interview, the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito described the situation as unfortunate for customers, saying this could be an indication of inappropriate control and handling of fuel.
“We are not sure how many cars are affected, but whatever the case is, it is just regrettable.
“While others may want to take advantage of the situation, we urge that engineers be involved to ensure that there is proof of claims vehicle owners make,” he said. n