ACEP demands further review of sulphur content for diesel

The African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) wants the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to further review downwards, its maximum sulphur content requirement for diesel products imported into the country.

“The announcement that the standards have been reduced to 500 ppm is not satisfactory the reason being that importers can still import diesel with Ultra sulphur content of up to 10ppm then why don’t we put the standard at 10 ppm?” Executive Director of ACEP, Dr. Amin Adam asserted.

The NPA, yesterday (October 3), announced it has revised the national sulphur specification for diesel from the maximum 3000 parts per million to 500 parts per million, effective January next year.

The Authority will however allow suppliers to import diesel at 10 ppm or lower.

Though Dr. Amin Adam commended the NPA for the review, he maintains that the decision to peg the maximum sulphur content at 500 ppm demonstrates the regulators’ lack of commitment to protect the lives of citizens from harm.

“This decision by the NPA means that 500 ppm is still not the level of quality that we need. This decision is contradictory; it doesn’t make sense to us. It only shows that even though the regulator knows the quality of fuel that we need in Ghana, they are deliberately allowing importers to bring up to 500ppm which is still not good,” he observed.

A joint publication by ACEP and its partner, Public Eye, indicates that the lives of citizens across eight African countries including Ghana, are at risk over the use of low quality diesel.

According to the report, the study revealed that the sulphur content for diesel in the eight countries surveyed was more than 300 times that of Europe, US and Kenya in Africa which has 50 parts per million (ppm).

Meanwhile ACEP is of the view that the new announcement of a downward revision of the national sulphur content is likely to attract other importers from the sub-region to trade via Ghana.

“Of course Nigerian businessmen who are very smart will rely on Ghanaian bound vessels since they know that they import high quality diesel,” he stated.

Moreover Dr. Adam is challenging proponents of a possible increase in the cost of fuel following a re-configuration of the country’s refinery systems.

“I do not agree with the argument that Ghana will not be able to enjoy economies of scale as it imports high quality diesel into West Africa will require specific vessels …I am challenging CBOD to tell us why the cost has to increase and it is of no surprise that the CBOD mentioned of a one percent interest which is tantamount to no increase in effect,” he further stressed.

By: Pius Amihere Eduku/