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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Why Petroleum prices needs to be reviewed

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Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) is in the process of reviewing several pieces of legislation to ensure that consumers get value for money when purchasing petroleum products.

The acting Director General Daniel Kiptoo said that EPRA’s commitment is towards improving the regulatory framework of the country’s petroleum sector so as to realize a safe, affordable, sustainable and reliable energy for all Kenyans.

EPRA said it is seeking consensus from players in the industry that will see predictable supply of petroleum products.

According to Kiptoo, the review is necessitated by challenges being experienced by the current pricing where EPRA updates petroleum prices monthly after reviewing the landing costs. 

EPRA says this system has on many occasions seen consumers pay highly for fuel imported several months ago even when global prices are low.  

The draft regulations, which are in line with the changes occasioned by the Energy Act 2019 and Petroleum Act 2019, are meant to enhance compliance and gradually reduce or eradicate cases of unscrupulous traders. 

The regulations under review include the Petroleum (Business Licensing and Facility Construction Permit) Regulations, 2020, the Petroleum (Operation of Common User Petroleum Facilities) Regulations, 2020, the Petroleum (Importation of Petroleum Products) Regulations, 2020, the Petroleum (Information and Statistics) Regulations, 2020 and the Petroleum (Licensing of Petroleum Road Transportation Business, Road Tankers and Drivers) Regulations, 2020.

The Petroleum (Lubricants Facility Construction and Business Licensing) Regulations, 2020, the Petroleum (Minimum Operational Stock) Regulations, 2020, the Petroleum (Pricing) Regulations, 2020, the Petroleum (Products Quality Management) Regulations, 2020, the Petroleum (Retail Station Construction and Licensing) Regulations, 2020 and the Petroleum (Strategic Stocks) Regulations, 2020 are also under review.

The draft regulations are meant to address inadequacies of the existing regulations and expand the legal framework to include defined penalties for various malpractices and provide for enforcement frameworks to enable EPRA approve contracts for common user facilities.

The regulator will Wednesday begin holding forums in Nanyuki , Laikipia County,  Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa and eventually Nairobi at the end of this month.

He added that EPRA remains focused on developing regulations aimed at empowering players in the energy sector and protecting consumers.

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