Mr Asaga’s comments follow a report by Public Eye in which it criticised Swiss firms of their links to the trade of diesel that contain high Sulphur considered illegal in Europe in Africa.
“First of all, if we really want to do a 50 ppm like in Europe, then it will mean that we are bringing in low sulpur diesel which is considered highest quality and therefore it means the price should increase if consumers want low sulphur fuel, especially diesel, then we must be ready for increase in prices to much that quality,” he told Joy FM Friday. "If we want high quality fuel then we need to pay more."
Mr Asaga’s comments follow a report by Public Eye in which it criticised Swiss firms for their links to the trade of diesel in Africa that contain high Sulphur considered illegal in Europe.
“The result was shocking: as our analysis revealed, the diesel samples contained up to 378 times more sulphur than is permitted in Europe. Furthermore, other toxic substances, such as benzene and polycyclical aromatic hydrocarbons, were also found in concentrations that are also banned in Europe.”
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The report points to weak regulatory standards in African which allows diesel to have a sulphur content of more than 2,000 parts per million (ppm). Media reports suggest some allow more than 5,000ppm. In Europe, the standard is less than 10ppm.
The companies mentioned have not been accused of breaking any laws in the countries in which the fuel is shipped to. That is because many of these countries have very lax regulations, some of which until recently had existed since the colonial era. Refineries in Africa also do not have the technical knowledge to reduce sulphur levels.