The National Petroleum Authority’s Fuel Specifications Implementation Committee has recommended the display and sale of two grades of petrol and diesel at the pumps at fuel stations. This is in compliance with the AFRI 4 diesel specifications in line with the Africa Refiners Association’s guidelines for improved fuel quality. The committee, at its recent meeting, reviewed among others the price parity fund management and the sulphur standardization in the clean fuel policy.
Currently, the standard is 1500ppm for local refineries and 50ppm for imports and this is comingled at the pumps.
The PPF fund was set up to raise adequate funds from PSPs including the Tema Oil Refinery to augment efforts to invest in a desulphurizing unit in order to be able to meet the standard of 50ppm in the near future. As noted in the meeting, TOR has never contributed to the fund since its commissioning. In view of this, the committee said it did not recognize the need to fund TOR’s desulphurization agenda. The committee agreed that given the challenges confronting local refineries, investing in a desulphurizing unit would be the least of the priorities given the inadequate inflows into the fund since its commissioning.
The Fuel Specifications Implementation Committee rejected the proposal to revert to 1500ppm alone. A member on the committee, CBOD CEO Senyo Hosi said there was a consensus to go with the parallel system.
“It is understandable that government, having made some progress on clean fuel may not want to be seen to be retrogressing but it creates a major disparity on the market. With diesel we have found a way to cover a part of the disparity through the price parity fund where the differential between the o.1% sulphur content and the 50ppm sulphur content on the world market is paid as an equalizer, giving an idea of some balance we can create for diesel. But we don’t have that balance for petrol.”
Mr. Hosi added that having two different quality standards displayed and sold at the pumps [for petrol and diesel] would allow for competition. Consumers would have the opportunity to opt for whichever option that best suits them.
The NPA committee further agreed that the collection of funds from BDCs and refineries into the PPM account ceases.