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05 October 2016

NPA, GSA could have gone for stricter fuel standard – ACEP

fuelThe African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) has commended the National Petroleum in Authority (NPA) for preliminary steps taken to improve the fuel standards in the country although it is calling for a stricter standard.

Last month, major oil marketing companies were exposed as flooding the country with toxic diesel.

The Authority on Monday revised the national sulphur specification for diesel from maximum 3000-pmm (parts per million) to 500-pmm effective January 2017.

The NPA says the reduction is in consonance with the call for “cleaner air” by consumers.

The reduction follows a BBC report that said the quality of diesel shipped into Africa is toxic and of low quality due to the excessive sulphur content.

The approved sulphur content for the diesel in Europe is 500pmm but the ones shipped to Africa and Ghana are over 3000pmm.

This is a remarkable upgrade from the 3000-ppm, which hitherto was what they were supplying and the Authority has urged the bulk suppliers to move higher to supply 10-ppm.

ACEP has commended the action saying although it is good a move, it is not good enough.

The deputy executive director of ACEP, Benjamin Boakye is excited at the swift attention the issue has received over the last two weeks since it gained currency.

He said the NPA and the Ghana Standards Authority did well but added, “We could have gone for a stricter and higher standard and put it at 10-ppm instead of leaving it to the importers to decide within the range they want to fit.”

“If we do agree that sulphur is injurious to our health and to our cars why are we setting standards that would take us years to meet the European standards?” he quizzed

ACEP, he said, has a problem with the new standard arguing that Ghana lost the opportunity to set the 10-ppm with the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs) also saying if the standard is set at 10-ppm, it allows them to bring products straight from Europe.

Mr Boakye said the BDCs are arguing that they won’t have to blend the product they import which comes with its own logistical cost and “we are wondering why the NPA haven’t listened to the BDCs and see their statement before even coming out with theirs and put the standard at 500-ppm.”

Regarding how to ensure that indeed what will be served to fuel stations is truly 500-ppm, the ACEP deputy director says that is another role altogether that the Authority would have to strengthen to be able to deliver on what they are promising of doing from next year.

He disclosed that ACEP is aware of some blending which takes place locally at some filling stations as well as at some distributors that also adulterate the fuel at their backyards and sell to the market.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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