Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has recommended the government to standardize specifications of petroleum products and reform fuel laws to bind companies to sell quality fuel throughout Pakistan. This movement started when auto companies, including Honda, filed complaints to OGRA over substandard fuel sold locally.
According to tests and research, local fuel is highly adulterated, capable of damaging engines and has a high CO2 emission impact on the atmosphere. An official from OGRA confirmed this and informed that the regulatory authority has been actively appealing the government to bring new enforceable petroleum standards.
According to him, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) and Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) confirmed high doses of manganese-content in local fuel – this was previously reported by Honda Pakistan several months ago.
According to Honda Pakistan, the manganese-rich fuel caused damage to their engines by choking its catalytic converter and also released toxic gases in addition to the usual carbon content. Other than significantly polluting the air, these gases also leave an adverse effect on human health. OGRA, after its tests, confirmed that the local fuel actually does have undesirable quantities of manganese and supported Honda’s claim.
Back in November, the government formed a committee comprising of officials from respective regulators, including OGRA to devise standards for manganese content in local fuel. The previous local fuel specifications did not enforce manganese ratings on fuel companies, which is why they increased its quantities to reflect a RON rating of 92. A Shell spokesperson’s while responding to the matter told;
Shell retail fuels comply with the MPNR Rules of April 2016 for local fuel specifications in Pakistan that do not specify any limit of manganese.
However, this committee has not been able to bring enforceable standards so far even after several meetings. PAMA filed multiple complaints too and said that metal content in burnt fuel, when inhaled, damages human and animal life.
A JAMA team visited Pakistan previously as well and informed the authorities about their reservations over the substandard fuel being used in Pakistan. The team presented its recommendations over increasing the quality of the fuel. Currently, fuel in Pakistan contains an average of 52.6 ppm (parts per million) of manganese content. The team told that according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) guidelines, the fuel must not contain any metals.
The team recommended to reduce manganese content to 18 ppm and eventually removing it completely as it is extremely dangerous to human health and environment and contributes to partial combustion in the vehicle.