The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) plans to “weed out” unlicensed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) dealers to curb accidents related to illegal trade in the highly flammable gas.
Zera chief executive officer Mr Edington Mazambani told The Sunday Mail that small dealers who are struggling to acquire licences should enter into partnerships with wholesalers who can bankroll their operations and ensure that they adhere to standards.
“The authority is always on the ground to ensure that there is strict adherence to standards on the retail of all petroleum products, including LPG,” he said.
“Such activities which do not conform to the standards will be weeded out.
“The authority has also rolled out a campaign to ensure strict adherence to approved LPG standards in the sector. The campaign entails raising awareness among consumers not to buy LPG from undesignated and unlicensed retailers and to report such illegal activities to law enforcement agencies and Zera.”
Mr Mazambani said LPG was highly volatile and flammable and required proper management.
“Zera urges small players to pool their resources and form joint companies which are licensable. Small players can engage and get into marketing agreements with LPG wholesalers who can assist them to meet safety requirements for LPG distribution.”
He urged the public to be on the lookout for substandard LPG cylinders that most likely cause gas-related accidents.
“All LPG cylinders that are imported by licensed dealers are safely designed.
“Consumers should ask anyone selling cylinders for the LPG cylinder certificates of conformity to approved cylinder standards before purchasing. LPG attendees at licensed filling sites are trained on how to inspect a cylinder’s certification, safety and suitability for use before LPG is filled.
“However, such a key pre-filling test may not be done at an unlicensed site, hence the authority’s appeal for the public not to buy from such illegal operators.” The Sunday Mail