ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Climate Change has so far failed to enforce the National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) requiring it to introduce Euro-II compliant vehicles and diesel in the country.
The NEQS for motor vehicles were notified in 2009 and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources had committed to ensuring supply of Euro-II compliant diesel from January 2012.
This deadline was extended by the petroleum ministry after getting approval from the Economic Coordination Committee to December 2014. The revised deadline had now long passed without any concrete steps being taken to meet the standards.
Ironically, the ministries of climate change and petroleum have so far failed to influence oil refineries for production of Euro-II compliant diesel in the country.
“The ministry of petroleum nor oil refineries are serious about ensuring availability of Euro-II compliant diesel, which is a clear violation of the Lahore High Court judgment in air pollution case passed in 2005 on Lahore Clean Air Commission Report, which set a roadmap for adaptation of Euro-II standards,” an official at the climate change ministry told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.
At the moment, the Pak-Arab Refinery is the only refinery in the country that is meeting 60 per cent Euro-II compliant diesel requirements.
The National Refinery Ltd (NRL) in June this year informed the petroleum ministry that the refinery had started up-gradation of its products to meet Euro-II specification, which was mandatory for environment-friendly fuels in the country.
The NRL said the project launched was scheduled to be completed in early 2017.
The NRL has demanded supply of natural gas at 8 million metric standard cubic feet per day for the purpose.
Whereas, the Attock Oil Refinery Ltd currently producing 0.25 wt per cent Sulphur High Speed Diesel (HSD), is intending to produce 0.05 wt per cent HSD Euro-II Standards from January 1, 2016.
It may be noted that the now defunct Ministry of Environment and later renamed Ministry of Climate Change after the 18 Amendment started working on introduction of clean fuels in the country in collaboration with all the stakeholders including the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, oil refineries as well as oil marketing companies since early 1990s but little has been achieved so far.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2015.