African states say no to cheap dirty diesel
WHEELS recently reported on the sorry state of low grade, impure diesel made especially for African markets because they have no laws to prevent the sale of impure diesel and its attendant cancercausing emissions.
Instead, Africa allows the cheaper, 500 or more parts per million (ppm) dirty diesel to be made (refined is too strong a word) in especially the Netherlands , from where traders export this filthy fuel to all African countries willing to take it, including South Africa, where there is still a lot of demand for 500 ppm diesel for older engines.
Now five African countries — Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo, Nigeria and Benin — announced they would reject shipments of high sulphur diesel fuel from Europe, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep).
GreenCar reports these countries are introducing stricter standards requiring low-sulphur fuels, and demanding that they receive the same quality of fuel offered to European nations.
Nigeria, for one, is cutting the legally-acceptable amount of sulphur in fuels from 3 000 parts per million to 50 parts per million.
The stricter standards proposed by the five West African nations now taking a stand against high-sulphur diesel are meant to prevent this.
The U.S.-based Diesel Technology Forum advocacy group applauded the move, noting that the U.S. diesel industry still thrives under the strict standards currently in place here.
“The five African nations that recognise the opportunity for bringing in cleaner technology and the need for ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel, will move forward,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.
But actually implementing the ban on high-sulphur diesel fuel could prove difficult.
“It’s not clear their populations can afford the cleaner diesel, or that is there enough cleaner diesel [produced in Europe] to meet that demand,” a source in the oil and gas industry with experience in Africa said.
African nations may also lack the infrastructure to enforce a ban, as many cannot locally test fuels for compliance.