Recommendations to be furnished for approval of manganese quantity in petrol

KARACHI: The committee, formed by the prime minister pertaining to probe addition of manganese to gasoline by fuel suppliers, will furnish recommendations for approval of quantity of manganese in petrol specifications, sources told Geo News Thursday.

Earlier this months, Pakistan’s state oil and gas regulator said it will investigate a complaint filed by Honda Motor Co’s Pakistan subsidiary, Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Limited, which said the harmful additive appeared to be damaging the engines in its vehicles.

Manganese can be added to fuel to make it appear to be of a higher quality, but it can reduce fuel economy as well as potentially harm public health due to emissions.

In August 2016, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet had approved the use of 92 RON petrol in the country, after which its import began in Nov 2016 while local refineries also started refining same grade gasoline.

Sources informed Thursday that the government has not approved quantity of manganese in the specifications of RON 92 petrol.

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP) also turned a blind eye to the issue.

However, the committee, formed by the premier to probe the matter, will not present recommendations for approval of a specified quantity of manganese in petrol.

The Honda complaint had said tests had found dangerous levels of manganese in fuel samples from Shell Pakistan Limited, Total Parco Pakistan Limited, and Pakistan State Oil Company Limited.

The tests had shown levels of manganese of up to 53 milligrams per kilogramme (mg/kg), while the additive is deemed at a “danger level� at 24 mg/kg, the Honda complaint said.