THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has spent $400 000 on a new fuel quality testing mobile laboratory to protect consumers from substandard products after the introduction of mandatory blending of ethanol (E5) and unleaded petrol, an official has said.
Report by Tarisai Mandizha
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting in Harare last week, Zera chief executive officer Gloria Magombo said the regulator had already procured the machine from a local company and it was expected in the country in October.
“When it comes to quality testing, Zera is in the process of procuring a mobile fuel testing vehicle and currently it’s on its way,” Magombo said.
She said the mobile laboratory came with instruments securely mounted on specially designed shock absorbers to avoid damage during driving.
Magombo said Zera would work together with the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) in testing the fuel quality.
SAZ already has laboratories all over the country and has been providing this kind of services for some time.
“If we feel that there is need for more testing because of the introduction of mandatory blending, we will engage other laboratories as well. There are a couple of laboratories in the country which do fuel testing and we believe will go to tender and add on,” Magombo said.
- Chamisa under fire over US$120K donation
- Mavhunga puts DeMbare into Chibuku quarterfinals
- Pension funds bet on Cabora Bassa oilfields
- Councils defy govt fire tender directive
She, however, said Zera had encountered some challenges with some service stations where they were selling E10 as unleaded, adding that culprits had since been prosecuted.
“I would like to urge motorist to desist from using backyard garages. Some of the test which were done indicate that they were selling contaminated fuel which is not good for vehicles,” she said. Magombo said Zera would continue to do surveillance checkups to ensure all service stations were selling the right products.
Government introduced mandatory blending of ethanol and unleaded petrol at the level of 5% ethanol and 95% unleaded petrol and players in the fuel industry are expected to comply with immediate effect.