The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has commended the Department of Energy on its announcement that the formal introduction of cleaner fuels will take place on July 1, 2017.
The amendments to the regulations regarding petroleum products specifications and standards were published in Government Notice R421 of May 31.
“The Gazetted fuel parameters provide long-term direction and certainty, as well as a clear roadmap for the South African oil industry to plan its future production, operations and investments with confidence,” says Naamsa in a statement.
The association adds that it expects individual oil companies to bring forward the production or importation of cleaner fuels, on a niche basis, to meet the requirements of the market.
In fact, it emphasises that the automotive industry and individual automotive companies will “publicly support and endorse the products of those oil companies prepared to start supplying the cleaner fuel before 2017”, and that it will continue to “press oil companies for the earliest possible introduction of the cleaner fuels in South Africa”.
South Africa currently works to a Euro II fuel standard. However, many modern, more-fuel- efficient cars have progressed to technology standards that require cleaner fuel than the standard currently legislated in South Africa.
Not having the fuel available to support these vehicles, means that South African consumers miss out on the newest cars boasting better fuel consumption and, therefore, lower levels of carbon dioxide emissions.
“The early introduction of Euro V-equivalent fuels in South Africa is important from an environmental health and air quality improvement perspective,” notes Naamsa.
“Once the fuels become generally available, there will be a significant reduction in harmful vehicle emissions in South Africa in respect of the entire vehicle population. It will also enable vehicle manufacturers to market high technology, highly fuel-efficient and low-emission new motor vehicles in South Africa.”