The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has waived off an ECOWAS specification regarding the quantity of sulphur allowed in petrol and diesel produced by local refineries.
The waiver, taking immediate effect, will run till 31st December 2024 and will allow for licenced local refineries to remain operational whilst measures are introduced to meet the sulphur requirements for petrol and diesel production stipulated by ECOWAS.
The ECOWAS Harmonised Specification for Automotive Fuels requires that automotive fuels produced locally or imported should contain sulphur levels not exceeding 50 milligrams or kilogram part per million (ppm).
But the introduction of the interim waiver means that local refineries that refine automotive fuels can continue to produce and supply diesel and petrol containing sulphur levels not exceeding 1,500 mg/kg (ppm) to the general public.
A statement issued by the NPA’s Corporate Affairs Directorate noted that “in view of the introduction of this interim waiver, Diesel and Petrol produced by local refineries shall be allowed for sale and purchase at retail outlets and may be commingled with imported products for sale to the general public”.
However, diesel and petrol imported into the country shall continue to comply with the sulphur requirements stipulated at maximum 50 mg/kg (ppm) as contained in the ECOWAS Harmonised Specifications for Automotive Fuels.
The statement further noted that “the application of this interim waiver to local refineries shall not result in any price differentials in the sale and purchase of Diesel and regular Petrol at the retail outlets with respect to their permissible sulphur content”.