Environment-friendly fuel becomes unavailable
October 14, 2011
Ethanol has been used as motorbikes’ fuel commonly-used terminology in Pakistan, ‘E-10’ with petrol to make a cheaper and relatively environment-friendly fuel, producing around 13 percent less greenhouse gases than fossil fuels.
Unfortunately, E-10’s consumptions could not be increased on its limited supply and production by the state-own Pakistan State Oil (PSO) mainly on the weak financial and investment strength for expansion of environment-friendly fuel.
Therefore its benefits which were conceived before its introduction failed to be achieved. The fuel neither replaces the conventional petrol/mogas nor its saves imports bills of the country and nor it protects environment from the polluted fuel.
PSO had planned an investment of Rs3.4 billion by 2010-end in order to provide ethanol-blended petrol at its 2,200 country-wide retail outlets but it failed to materialize on the back of funds shortage and lack of government support.
Its officials said the government’s lukewarm attitude towards its promotion will not be made possible its immediate benefits to the country because it is not interested to aid the company on policy issues. The company needs government’s financial and policy framework support in this regard.
So far, there are 18 cities where the fuel is being marketed uninterrupted after its supplies to 55 outlets established in the country has reduced on the provincial taxation issues in Punjab and Baluchistan besides floods cut the supplies routes to majority of the cities in Sindh.
Earlier, the sale of E-10 petrol having suspended thrice in 2007, 2009 and 2010 earlier on different issues.
E-10 is processed in Karachi and supplied to different cities of Sindh and Punjab including Azad Kashmir. At present, E-10 sales witnessed 80,000 liter per day at the price difference of Rs 2.40 lesser than conventional petrol, which is not such significant to attract customers though the sales in the past years showed handsome growth in numbers.
As per statistics of Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the E-10 petrol sales have reached nearly 4 million liter in September 2009, which was stood at 1.03 million liter in January 2010 and 1.52 million liter tons by 2010-end, showing more than thrice times increase in the quantity despite of the fact the flood hit it sales badly particularly in July to September.
The potential customers of this product are motorcyclists as matter of fact it is a bit cost-effective for them. The two-wheelers are estimated to consume nearly 60 percent of overall mogas marketed in the country through local refineries and imports.
PSO management believes that the country would save $100 million on imports by blending ethanol with petrol if significant network of E-10 sales point are established.
The production of E-10 will be financially viable provided that government supports towards its promotion, establishment and assurance of ethanol at controlled rates, an official of the state-own Oil Marketing Company said on the condition of anonymity.
The company itself is not capable to execute any plan because the matter of circular-debt has crippled it to continue its normal operations even, therefore, its management is not currently keen to set up E-10 dispensers at massive level, he said. “Whatever PSO is earning from E-10 petrol sales is not enough to reinvest on its promotion.
The E-10 petrol dispenser needs separate stock at petrol stations to maintain its blended compound. An ordinary stock needs Rs 0.6 to Rs0.8 million to support an E-10 petrol dispenser per outlets.
E-10 is utilized in two-wheelers, three-wheelers or four-wheel drives. All vehicles can use it and there is no need to change the vehicle’s part as the existing engine is capable of burning ethanol fuel. Therefore, countries like the US and Brazil that have promoted extensive use of ethanol-blended petrol, haven’t seen the vehicles using it changing engines. This, even though many states in the US use up to 10 percent ethanol-blended petrol. In Brazil, the limit is even higher, i.e. 24 percent and here again no engine.
The target market for E-10 is the small and light motor vehicle segment which includes cars, motorcycles, rickshaws etc. Also, all vehicles that operate on EFI technology or in layman’s terms require more than 87 octane gasoline for improved performance and drivability are included in the target market for E-10 gasoline. This is a significant portion of the vehicles on the road and is expected to continue to grow in the future as well.
However, analysts of auto industry said the old model car manufactured before 90’s in Pakistan could not be afford the consumption of E-10 as a matter of fact the engines are not effective for moisturizer component exist in E-10 gasoline.
E-10 gasoline is contributing not only to the future of the environment but in fact to the future of our country itself by leading to a decrease in the carbon emissions of motor vehicles. This in turn leads to a reduction in the depletion rate of the ozone layer and has a direct impact on the respiratory illnesses which are plaguing our people.
Several studies have shown that the health hazards associated with regular gasoline take a downward turn with the inclusion of ethanol into the mix which helps burn gasoline burn in a cleaner and more complete fashion than is generally accomplished by combustion engines. The high level of octane present in E-10 improves the engine performance of vehicles’ and prevents engine knock as well.
The continued usage of this fuel will not only lead to environmental benefits but will also allow us to develop the rural economy of the country as well by utilizing indigenous resources for the progress and prosperity of the nation.
It is urged that the government must realize the seriously as business point of view and invite investors besides government to expedite promotion of E-10 petrol in the country, which not only curtail our ballooning imports bill but also same masses from hazards of environment and human.