Additives in fuel: advice to PSO
THIS is apropos of the news conference by the PSO’s managing director (Nov 28). He stated that by eliminating the addition of detergents additives in mogas (petrol) and diesel the company would save about Rs600m annually This is a very shortsighted approach. Additives are used by all major oil companies worldwide to improve fuels’ performance to increase their market share. These additives reduce fuel consumption and also some of the harmful emissions coming out of vehicle exhaust.
Tests carried out at internationally recognised laboratories prove the role of such additives and two to three per cent fuel economy. This cut in consumption means a reduction in import bill by more than $200m. By eliminating the additives the PSO chief seems to be helping the same cartels who want to increase the import of diesel and petrol.
In Pakistan the PSO started using additives in 2004 and launched its Green XL Plus Diesel and Premier XL Gasoline. There were a number of benefits like fuel economy, reduction in black smoke and other harmful emissions, less foaming which resulted in shorter filling times, easy start, low engine noise and less vehicle maintenance cost.
These initiatives improved the quality of PSO fuels and helped it to increase its market share. Consumers’ preference for PSO fuels was demonstrated in surveys by a leading international survey company in Pakistan. It also compelled Shell and Caltex to introduce additives in their fuels in Pakistan which they were already doing in many other countries. They continue to use them now and advertise the benefits of their fuels.
In a report to the petroleum ministry, the PSO claimed that the additives do not work in fuels available in Pakistan and they bring no value. This is contrary to the facts and shows lack of technical knowledge in this area.
The additives are supplied by highly reputable multi-national companies which spend a huge amount on research and development every year.
The main component in the additives is a detergent which avoids deposit build-up in the fuel injection system of vehicles. These deposits block fuel injectors because of which the fuel is not properly sprayed and is delivered to the engine in droplets which, in turn, affects the combustion and increases the fuel consumption.
By removing the already built deposits and keeping the fuel injection system clean an optimum spray pattern is ensured and the engine performs at optimum efficiency.
Fuels without detergent result in engine knocking which increases the maintenance cost.
Recently when the PSO advertised its diesel, its market share went up by three per cent. Each one per cent increase in share means additional revenue of nearly Rs200 million. The PSO should be innovative in marketing which is absent in the PSO as far as fuels are concerned.
The government and parliament should take notice and make it mandatory for oil companies to use additives to provide relief to consumers, as well as save foreign exchange.