Kerosene consumption in the country has plummeted by 75 per cent following the recently introduced tax on fuel, the Energy Regulatory Commission(ERC) has revealed.
According to ERC Director General Pavel Oimeke, the decrease in demand is as a result of dodgy traders using the commodity to taint the quality of petrol and diesel so as to make extra profit on unsuspecting customers.
“The quantity of kerosene being taken from the depot has reduced considerably. Our investigations show that a lot of it, 70 per cent to 75 per cent, was going into adulteration,” the ERC Director General is quoted as saying by a local daily.
Evaluations from the energy regulator also reveal that out of the 533,794 metric tonnes of kerosene consumed in 2017, an astonishing 400,000 metric tonnes were mixed with diesel related products and sold to unwitting customers.
The use of adulterated fuel can lead to increased tailpipe emissions of hydrocarbons such as carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen into the environment. It can also cause health problems directly in the form of increased tailpipe emissions of harmful and sometimes carcinogenic pollutants as well as significantly affecting the country’s revenue collection.
Following a sting operation conducted by ERC and DCI detectives on Monday that unearthed 1,000 litres of adulterated kerosene in Nairobi’s Bahati Estate, the two institutions have vowed to further increase their tenacity in shutting down unscrupulous kerosene traders in different areas across the country.
Following the implementation of the Finance Bill 2018 that introduced an 8 per cent levy on petroleum products the price of a litre of Kerosene, Diesel and Petrol went up by Ksh. 18 each. Following reviews by the ERC the prices were changed so that a litre of petrol, kerosene and diesel currently retails at Ksh.115.73, Ksh108.84 and Ksh.109.72 respectively.