Pakistan receives first cargo of better-quality diesel

Published: January 7, 2017
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KARACHI: Pakistan has received from Kuwait the first consignment of improved-quality diesel that meets Euro-II emission standards.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said sulphur content, which caused pollution in the environment, was 95% lower in the new diesel quality compared to the old fuel being sold across the country for decades.

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“First PSO {Pakistan State Oil} cargo that arrived on Friday tested 250 parts per million (ppm) sulphur content,” he said.

The government has set a new standard of maximum 500 ppm sulphur content in new diesel compared to 5,000 ppm in the fuel being phased out now.

“All diesel imports by any oil marketing company will now be Euro-II…and this change has been made without any increase in the price,” Abbasi said.

High-speed diesel is a regulated product and the petroleum ministry revises its prices every month in line with fluctuations in world markets.

According to an industry official, the demand for diesel in the country stands at 8.4 million tons per year or 0.7 million tons per month.

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PSO remains the market leader in fuel oil supplies. Its market share in diesel sales is 47.3%.

A PSO statement said, “PSO has received the first vessel carrying 55,000 tons of low-sulphur diesel from Kuwait.”

A company official added that the vessel was berthed at the port on Friday night and the new diesel may be available to the consumers in a couple of days.

“We have yet to decide a date for the formal launch of the {new} product at our outlets nationwide…It usually takes two to three days to transport the imported oil to filling stations from the port,” the official added.

“Another vessel carrying the same quantity is expected to anchor sometime next week.”

The existing diesel being produced by Karachi-based refineries contains 10,000 ppm. The 500ppm diesel is not of the finest quality in the world. About two dozen countries have already shifted to ultra-low-sulphur diesel, which carries sulphur content of 50ppm only.

Japanese auto assemblers in Pakistan have rolled out years ago passenger cars carrying Euro-II engines. Consumption of new diesel in such vehicles will reduce pollution levels and help meet higher emission standards.

In addition to this, diesel is also used in mega electricity projects, especially during winter days when hydroelectric power production goes down due to low water flow in dams.

Pakistan started importing better-quality diesel just two months after oil marketing companies launched higher-grade (RON 90-95) petrol for the first time.

“It gives us great satisfaction that the country’s national oil marketing company has played the leading, proactive and responsible role in effectively transforming the fuel landscape within a short span of time,” the PSO statement quoted the minister as saying.

PSO CEO and MD Sheikh Imranul Haque added, “having introduced LNG in 2015 and higher RON 92/95 grade gasoline in November 2016, and now the low-emission diesel product, we are proud to be the torchbearer of Pakistan’s fuel revolution and will continue to introduce and promote quality fuels in the country.”

An official of Shell Pakistan said, “in line with the move to higher specifications for diesel, Shell has also imported a parcel.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2017.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Kfaisal
    Jan 8, 2017 - 10:56AM

    What about the extremely poor quality 10,000 ppm diesel being produced by Pakistani refineries ? No legislation to force them to upgrade ? Recommend

  • Virkaul
    Jan 9, 2017 - 12:20AM

    Please publish my commentsRecommend

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