Petrol stations in Maralal town remained closed for the second day running after Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) officers arrested operators for over-pricing the cost of fuel.
Petrol station owners interviewed lamented that they cannot make any profits selling fuel as per the Energy Regulatory Commission set prices.
The petrol dealers hinted that transport costs and regular blackouts in the town are some of the factors that make them hike fuel prices.
“We buy fuel at the Nakuru depot at sh 114 if we factor in transport costs, security and poor road conditions it does not break even if we sell at sh 117 per litre as per the ERC recommendations, ” said a dealer who sought anonymity.
They clarified that they don’t hike fuel prices without consulting with ERC.
Another operator said that in March this year, petrol station owners came up with a pricing formula which was approved by ERC petroleum director Mr. Edward Kinyua.
“Together with the ERC petroleum director Mr Edward Kinyua, we came up with a pricing formula which was approved. So we are within the law when we hike our prices,” she said.
The Energy Regulatory Commission requires petrol stations in Maralal town to sell a litre of petrol at Sh117.89 while that of diesel to retail at Sh116.83 pump prices.
However, petrol station owners who were arrested on Saturday evening did not take a plea when they were presented in court today morning because the prosecutor was not present.
A litre of petrol is currently going for Sh128 per litre while that of diesel at Sh122.
This is a difference of more than Sh10 and Sh5 in petrol and diesel ERC set prices.
A litre of petrol was selling at Sh128 on Saturday against Sh117.89 as recommended by ERC.
All five petrol stations in Maralal town remained closed in solidarity with those who were arrested during Saturday’s crackdown by ERC.
Transport has been affected with boda boda operators doubling their charges saying they are sourcing fuel from as far as Nyahururu town.
By Robert Githu