Gas
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 09:17

Exemption could ensure stability of liquid fuel supply to industry

The Competition Commission of South Africa granted the petroleum and refinery industry an exemption on 10 October, following an application by the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) in April 2010. The exemption enables participants in various stages of the supply chain to enter into the collaborative exchange of information necessary to ensure stability of supply and the efficient use of supply chain facilities.

In the application SAPIA requested exemption until December 2015. After it was filed, exemption was granted on a short-term basis by the Competition Commission in 2010. The exemption covers a wide range of agreements and practices in the petroleum and refinery industry.

It was applied for and granted in the midst of an ongoing investigation by the Competition Commission into the alleged anti-competitive conduct in relation to a range of products in the petroleum value chain. “The exemption will go a long way in ensuring the continuity and stability of liquid fuel supply to the various sectors and geographical locations of the South African economy,” says Avhapfani Tshifularo, the executive director of SAPIA. “We are pleased with the approval of the exemption. It has been almost 18 months since the exemption application was submitted and, as the process is long, frustrating and expensive, we would not like to start it over again.”

As set out in the short-term exemption, granted during 2010 to accommodate the FIFA Soccer World Cup, the exemption does not extend to the wholesale, commercial and retail trade of liquid fuels supply, but rather to the arrangements to ensure logistics and bulk supply. “We look forward to the implementation of the exemption as it will enable the petroleum and refinery industry to ensure consistent delivery of much-needed liquid fuels to the South African industries,”  concludes Tshifularo.
 
Full acknowledgement and thanks are given to SAPIA for the information used in this article.