Thu | Sep 24, 2020

Standards agencies intensify fuel monitoring after more 'bad gas' fears

Published:Monday | February 18, 2019 | 12:00 AM

The Bureau of Standards of Jamaica (BSJ) and the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority say they will be increasing their monitoring of the petroleum industry amid increased fear about another possible 'bad gas' episode in the retail trade.

In recent weeks, motorists have been complaining to The Gleaner that there is an extremely unpleasant smell from the gasolene they have been purchasing at some petrol stations in Kingston and St Andrew.

READ: Fresh fuel fears 

However, in a joint statement this afternoon, the BSJ and the compliance regulatory authority said there have been no official complaints of engine damage due to any compromised fuel.

Renowned race car driver and auto mechanic, Lisa Bowman Lee, was quoted in the Sunday Gleaner as saying she and other motorists have experienced problems with fuel.

"It’s been going on now for quite a little while. Couple of persons have said that shortly after purchasing fuel they have major issues with the car and it just got engine damage," Bowman Lee said.

But the standards and regulatory agencies said they must certify all fuel legally entering the market before the petrol is released into the market.

The agencies said fuel which fail the specifications is detained and barred from entering the market until found to be satisfactory.


Paulwell wants update on 'bad gas' resolutions

The Opposition spokesman on energy Phillip Paulwell wants the newly appointed Minister of Science, Energy and Technology,  Fayval Williams to outline what measures have been implemented since the last bad gas saga in 2015.

Paulwell said he is extremely surprised to hear of new reports of the possible bad gas in the petroleum retail sector, as the Cabinet had accepted the report from the Petroleum Trade Reform Committee  in 2016 and agreed to implement a series of recommendations.

"Apart from the ministerial document setting out specifications for unwashed gum, it was now apparent that both Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley and Prime Minister Holness in his capacity as Minister of Energy, failed to follow up and to ensure that the events of 2015 were not repeated," Paulwell said.

Holness had the portfolio for eight months after Wheatley stepped down over the Petrojam scandal.

Paulwell is now asking Williams to outline what steps she intends to take to ensure that all the recommendations are implemented to guarantee quality standards in Jamaica’s petroleum sector.

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