The Akufo-Addo government will from July 1 introduce a new policy on the sulphur content of fuel products.
“The sulphur content in our fuel will be reduced from 3000ppm (parts per million) to 50 ppm,” the Vice President disclosed at Joy News' 100 Days Town Hall, Monday.
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said this will reduce respiratory diseases triggered by fuel products with high sulphur content.
In the European Union, the “Euro IV” standard has applied since 2005, which specifies a maximum of 50 ppm of sulphur in diesel fuel for most vehicles. Ultra-low-sulphur diesel with a maximum of 10 ppm of sulphur has been widely available as of 2008.
A global report has uncovered the flooding of Ghana’s market with toxic fuel that is threatening lives and destroying cars.
According to the report, the fuel imported into Ghana, mainly diesel, is seriously toxic sometimes containing sulphur levels 2000 times more than the standards accepted in the EU and the USA.
This has been blamed for respiratory illnesses and car malfunctioning in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of Chamber of Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs), Senyo Hosi, had argued that it is a matter of cost.
Senyo Hosi said if Ghanaians don’t want to pay 10ppm price for fuel, they should expect to be supplied with what they can afford.
Following a BBC report that said the quality of diesel shipped into Africa is toxic and of low quality due to the excessive sulphur content, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) promised to revise the national sulphur specification for diesel.
The NPA said it will revise it from a maximum 3000ppm to 500ppm effective January 2017 in consonance with the call for "cleaner air" by consumers.
The Vice President said Ghana will be "at the same level as the Western or East African countries in this regard. I think this is a major policy for us as far as the environment and controlling the toxins are concerned."
In a related development, he said the new policy in the energy sector will focus on renewable energy so the country will not accept any thermal energy purchase agreement.
"If you don't have renewable energy to produce, don't come to Ghana, you have to go elsewhere," he sounded a word of caution.
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