Only recently, Honda Atlas Pakistan complained about the manganese content in petrol being sold in Pakistan. This content, according to global market specifications, is harmful to a car’s engine and the environment.
Instead of testing and reviewing the quality of the petrol, the suppliers simply denied the complaint assuring that it was simply impossible for the petrol to have such bias.
After these series of events, Hascol Petroleum, a distributor of fuel has recommended the government to recheck the composition of petrol to make it safer for vehicles. This, in turn, will protect the environment and will keep public health in check. The company has asked DG Oil to revise and upgrade specifications for petrol.
The CEO of Hascol Petroleum, Saleem Butt sent a letter to the Petroleum Secretary Sikandar Sultan Raja to recall him about the government’s decision to improve the quality of petrol for vehicles back in November 2016. Back then, the government introduced three grades – Research Octane Number (RON) 92, 95, and 97 – after replacing RON 87.
Domestic refineries were also ordered to improve the quality of their petrol at that time.
Saleem Butt pointed out that due to this imposition, refineries and different suppliers started using Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl (MMT). They added high values of MMT in the petrol to “artificially” meet the required specifications because production of RON 92 grade is expensive if made properly using other processes.
Fuel distributors also add alcohol or other additives to achieve a higher RON rating but it is a well known fact that such content is bad for car engines.
We request you to advise the DG Oil to revise motor gasoline specifications immediately and limit manganese content to 24 PPM (parts per million) and the testing of manganese be made mandatory for all motor gasoline produced by local refineries and imports.
According to Honda’s complaint, they found 53 milligrammes per kilogramme (mg/kg) in petrol samples from Total, Shell and PSO.
MMT chokes a car’s catalytic converter after increasing the amount of manganese in the car’s fuel. When the car burns this “infected” fuel, it contaminates the air with metallic manganese particles as well – this is hazardous to human health.
Pakistan’s oil refineries produce only 25-30% of the total fuel demand while the rest is imported by oil marketing companies based on the import specifications issued by the DG Oil.