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Pass fuel standardisation policy - GADA

Sept. 20, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

IN view of the toxic diesel saga, the Ghana Automobile Distributors Association (GADA) has reiterated calling on government to, as a matter of urgency, pass a fuel standardisation policy for the country

This they say would clearly stipulate fuel standards for vehicles in Ghana.

This, the association said, is critical to saving unsuspecting Ghanaians and government from buying vehicles and running them on the wrong fuel and spending so much money on frequent repairs, polluting the environment as well as creating health problems.

Speaking to The Finder, Mr Kojo Annobil, Vice-President of GADA, said even if that policy cannot achieve the standards of Europe and United States of America, the policy can prescribe something close to that.

He said such a policy would save the country millions of cedis in repair cost, prolong the lifespan of vehicles, and protect the environment as well as the health of the people.

The GADA Vice-President stated that the performance of a vehicle and its lifespan are directly linked to the performance of the fuel it uses.

He explained that the current high sulphur content in diesel sold in Ghana is acidic and, therefore, corrodes the inside of the metallic cylinders.

“Within a short period, the engine loses power which results in high consumption of engine oil leading to emission of carbon monoxides which is harmful to the environment and human health,” he stressed.

Mr Annobil explained that emissions from diesel cars are lower compared to petrol and, therefore, diesel saloon cars are ideal for Ghana.

According to him, at the moment, accredited dealers cannot import saloon cars that use diesel into the country because of high sulphur content in Ghana’s diesel.

For example, he said Ford has designed 1.0 engine car but would not supply it dealers in Ghana because of the high sulphur content in Ghana’s diesel.

Also, he said when BMW X3 with 2.0 engines are imported into Ghana, the engines have to be changed into bigger engines before they can function.

According to him, for unexplained reasons, bigger diesel engines are able to run on diesel sold in Ghana for sometime even though such engines still break down earlier than their lifespan.

Mr Annobil said some of the affected vehicles in Ghana include Ford F350 and Toyota Tundra, which is also used by the Ghana Police Service.

He explained that the Research Octane Number (RON) of petrol sold in Ghana ranges between 91 and 94 while the only type of diesel sold in Ghana has higher sulphur content.

According to him, the policy should restrict the importation of vehicles, as only cars designed to use fuel in the policy should be imported into the country.

Mr Annobil stated that car manufacturers only give cars designed to use the fuel in Ghana to accredited vehicle distributors, to prevent them from importing vehicles that use other fuel not found in Ghana.

However, he said non-accredited dealers import all kinds of vehicles which use higher grade of fuel not found in Ghana.

He noted that spare parts of such vehicles are also not sold in Ghana and, therefore, owners have to order ineffective parts from abroad.

Mr Annobil said the policy would ensure that vehicle standards conform to the fuel available in Ghana.