20 Dec 2013

Most petrol retailers in Tuvalu's Funafuti could be shut down

6:41 pm on 20 December 2013

The Energy Department in Tuvalu is warning petroleum retailers to have their businesses up to standard, or their operating licences will not be renewed.

An inspection of the 26 petrol retailers on Funafuti, the main island, was carried out by a technical advisor with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

The technical advisor found there were too many petrol retailers operating, and recommended the government shut down as many as 20 of the businesses.

However, the Assistant Energy Planner, Nielu Meisake, says while he takes on board the advice, it's difficult to tell people to shut down their businesses, when for some families it's their only source of income.

Some of the retailers storage are not very good and they are not complying as when they started so that's where we are looking at trying to advise if they could upgrade before renewing the licence, if not, during the time period to do it and renew the licence, if they don't comply them, we shut them down.

Nielu Meisake says those not currently up to standard have until the end of the year to make changes, or their licence will be taken away.