News has been surfacing regarding the government’s intentions to start importing EURO-5 fuel to the country recently. The efforts are being fast-tracked to begin this year to make the environment cleaner and to ‘necessitate’ the production of high-tech vehicles in the future.
To that interest, a senior official privy to petroleum sector developments told the media that a Euro-IV and V fuel testing facility has already been put in place at the Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP) Islamabad with more testing facilities also being developed and shall be made operational in due time.
The labs have been developed under the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Minister for Petroleum Omar Ayub Khan reports that the Petroleum Division is formulating a plan to begin importing Euro-IV & V fuel besides producing it at the local level.
Khan said in a public statement,
The labs put in place will test the imported as well locally produced fuels of the increased standards. It will check that the fuels were matching the approved standards or not.
He also suggested that the compliance with high-grade fuel standards and its efficient use in high-tech vehicles would also offer some leverage in foreign exchange as this high-grade fuel shall be much more efficient.
As per the petroleum sector development official, the plan is being developed with the foresight of upgrading all petroleum testing facilities across major regions of Pakistan.
While the aforementioned developments are happening, the fuel industry and the automotive industry both continue to express their dismay in response to the decision. Just over a week ago, Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) sent a letter addressed to Petroleum Division, stating that managing distribution, manufacturing, and cost implications of different fuel grades would be impractical for the OMCs.
Similarly, about 2 weeks ago, one of the major Japanese automakers in Pakistan showed their displeasure to the Secretary Industries and Production in a letter, stating that Pakistan’s prevailing regulatory emission requirements are of EURO-II compliance and hence, a period of at least 2 years is required for the automakers make the shift to EURO-5.
The government is still pressing on with the pursuit of introducing better grade fuel to Pakistan to protect the environment. Whether or not the OMCs and the automaker come to terms with these developments remains to be seen.