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Refineries Told To Reduce Harmful Fuel Additive

ISLAMABAD: The government stood firm on Tuesday to enforce the manganese phase-out plan and ordered refineries to reduce its content to 24 milligram per litre of petrol within two days as the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) disowned its member seeking an extension.

It has concluded that refineries will have to reduce manganese content in petrol to 24mg per litre forthwith as originally decided in April this year without any delay, notwithstanding some initial reduction in petrol production.

It was also clarified to the oil industry that backlog of refined product may take a few days to be consumed in the market but there would be no more fresh production and roll out of petrol with more than 24mg per litre of manganese.

Ogra’s Member Oil Dr Abdullah Malik and Chief Executive Officer of Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) had written a joint letter to the Petroleum Division on Oct 11 seeking postponement of the manganese phase-out plan for local refineries for at least six months to allow the completion of an independent study. On the basis of this recommendation, the Petroleum Division had called a meeting of the oil industry, OCAC, Ogra and other agencies concerned on Tuesday for a way forward because the refineries were required to reduce manganese content in all petrol qualities to 24mg per litre with effect from Nov 1.

Ogra Chairperson Uzma Adil Khan told the participants that the proposed extension in phase-out plan was not the opinion of the regulatory authority and should be treated as individual opinion of a member. The regulatory authority currently comprised two members and a chairperson.

A participant told Dawn that Ogra chairperson said it was considered legal position of herself (chairperson) and member finance that no extension could be granted unless an earlier notification was modified by the Petroleum Division with prior approval of the ECC.

Ms Adil told the meeting that specifications for the product were notified in line with an ECC decision that required Ogra to ensure compliance of those standards. “We will go ahead and enforce the notified standards from Nov 1”.

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