The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) says it has issued a temporary waiver to allow buying of up to twenty litres of fuel in safe containers.
MERA banned the purchase of fuel in jerry cans over concerns about an increase in illegal fuel storage. Those looking to buy fuel in containers were asked to seek waiver from MERA.
However, the ban attracted protests from some customers who argued that they could not take their machinery to filing stations.
MERA in a stament yesterday said it has introduced a waiver for customers and consumers who may need fuel for equipment and machinery that cannot be taken to a retail outlet for refueling.
“MERA has considered a temporary waiver to allow buying of up to twenty litres of fuel in safe containers (purpose-manufactured jerry cans and drums) without making a declaration to MERA. The fuel is expected to be transferred into the intended machinery and therefore the containers should not be used as fuel storage facilities,” reads part of the statement.
The Liquid Fuels and Gas Regulations of 2009 provide that a person who wishes to store fuel for commercial purposes shall first register with MERA and comply with standards for storage of liquid fuels and gas. This limitation does not apply to the storage of paraffin.
A Registration Certificate is issued to private generators that comply with the minimum standards upon submission of an application form and payment of applicable fees of MK100 per kilovolt-ampere (kVA) with a minimum of Three Thousand Kwacha for generators of capacity range of 20kVA – 30kVA. Where private generators are used as a baseload the fee is MK150 per kVA.
Private generation facilities that are below 20kVA are required to be declared to MERA. This declaration does not attract any fee.
MERA has since warned public and operators of fuel retail and wholesale outlets that those contravening the law will be liable to a fine or risk closure of the fuel retail or wholesale outlet under the Liquid Fuels and Gas (Production and Supply) Act.