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Most fuel dealers across the country have heeded Government’s call for industry players to comply with Diesel 50 usage as part of efforts to use environmentally clean fuel that increases vehicles’ life span, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has said.
In a survey conducted by the regulator, over 98 percent of the service stations and authorised fuel dealers are now supplying D50 and the balance is expected to be compliant by month end.
In a sensitisation workshop for the Zimbabwe National Standardisation Strategy and the referencing of standards by policy makers and regulators workshop, Zera technical officer Sam Zaranyika said all service stations have adhered to the reduction of fuel prices starting from last month.
“Zera is happy to announce that almost all service stations have complied with D50, with only a few service stations and fuel dealers expected to comply by month end.
“We are positive that fuel dealers have beaten the May 1 deadline and the major driving element in the level of compliance levels was mainly due to the reduction of D50 prices to $1,22 per litre from $1,37 per litre,” said Mr Zaranyika.
Diesel 50 — is a low sulphur fuel that contains 50 parts per million (ppm) compared to 500ppm in regular diesel.
Currently, Government has moved to clear out all the remaining diesel 500 in order to pave way for the cleaner fuel.
The new legislation is expected to go a long way towards environmental protection and embracing cleaner fuels.
Low sulphur diesel significantly contributes to reduced emissions of particulate matter into the atmosphere from vehicles’ exhaust fumes.
In a Government Gazette published in January, Energy minister Simon Khaya Moyo moved to amend the Petroleum Act.
The consequence of the adoption of the amended ZWS751:2012 is that Diesel 500 will be phased out progressively over a period of four months and by May 1 2018, no fuel licensee shall be allowed to import, distribute or sell any diesel other than Diesel 50 ppm.
This comes as Zera sampled the quality of diesel 50 on the market and found it compliant with Standards Association of Zimbabwe’s ZWS 751 diesel quality standard.
In its assessment of Diesel 50, the Authority said Diesel 50 is used world-wide in most developed countries, including our neighbouring countries South Africa and Botswana, while most European countries have already moved to using diesel with 10ppm sulphur as they escalate their drive to reduce harmful exhaust emissions by using cleaner fuels.
D50 has much better combustion quality than regular diesel because of its high cetane number.
Diesel 50 therefore burns much more efficiently resulting in great potential for improved fuel consumption and engine performance to be realised.
Using D500 in vehicles or equipment designed to use Diesel 50 can result in diesel particulate filter damage, early fuel filter blockages, damage to fuel pump and injectors.