THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) has ordered oil companies to submit their implementation programs on its earlier call for them to sell the cheaper but dirtier Euro 2 diesel to ease the rising cost of fuel.
“In their respective implementation plans, the oil companies are expected to indicate the participating retail outlets, the date of intended implementation and other related information for the provision of an additional diesel fuel alternative,” the DoE said in a statement on Monday.
The department, through its Oil Industry Management Bureau, gave the companies until Friday, Aug. 24, to submit their plans.
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said his office was “actively finding ways to help control inflation” and bringing in Euro 2 compliant diesel gives Filipinos an additional option. He assured consumers that the Euro 2 fuel can be used by diesel engines with the catalytic converter.
“These are usually the 2015, 2014 and earlier models of vehicles,” he said.
Motorists who own older vehicle models from 2015 and earlier, including those in the transportation sector, would benefit from additional savings that Euro 2 diesel fuel would provide, the DoE chief said.
“With rising prices, each centavo of savings counts,” Mr. Cusi said.
The DoE has assured consumers that it would continue the stringent monitoring of the quality of fuels being sold in the country.
“We empower our consumers when we give them the ability to choose. We are enhancing the competition among the suppliers. This is what the Euro 2 diesel option is all about,” Mr. Cusi said.
The order to submit implementation plans comes a day after independent oil companies came out with a statement opposing the DoE directive to make Euro 2 diesel available at their fuel retail stations.
The Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association (IPPCA) said Euro 4 is 10 times cleaner than Euro 2, and blending of ethanol would no longer be needed in achieving cleaner emissions from gasoline products.
The association also pointed out that there is not much difference between the price of Euro 2 and Euro 4 diesel as domestic and international refineries have upgraded and shifted their production to Euro 4 and even Euro 5 compliant diesel products. The upgrade has made Euro 2 diesel even less available.
IPPCA said the reintroduction of Euro 2 is a setback to efforts to ensure cleaner air. Going back to Euro 2, the association said, means reverting to fuel with 10 times more sulfur at 500 parts per million (ppm) as against the much cleaner diesel that has 90% less sulfur at 50 ppm.
IPPCA also said offering Euro 2 is “a logistical nightmare for oil companies,” requiring the installation of underground tanks at retail outlets since the fuel could not be co-mingled with Euro 4 diesel. — Victor V. Saulon