ISLAMABAD - Taking notice of a complaint, from a car manufacturer, regarding selling of low grade fuel by the oil marketing companies (OMCs), the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has started the quality check of the POL products.

Responding to a complaint by a car company, about the low quality of fuel sold by the OMCs, Ogra has asked the Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP) for evaluating the fuel sample collected from across the country, official sources told The Nation.

The fuel samples were randomly collected from different locations around the country and now it is being evaluated through third party, the official said. He further said that the samples were being examined, by HDIP in Karachi and a report in this regard to be finalised within three days.

It is pertinent to mention here that in a complaint to the Ogra, the Honda Atlas Cars Pakistan had alleged high Manganese content in recently upgraded 92RON (Research Octane Number), causing three major issues, namely, catalyst blocking or chocking of the catalytic converter, engine knock due to low octane quality fuels and adverse human health effects of manganese. The car manufacturer further alleged that they had to suspend its latest variant 1.5 Turbo VTEC car due to substandard fuel quality.

On the other hand, rejecting claim of the Honda, the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) said that fuel being sold in the country was strictly in accordance with the approved specifications issued by the Ministry of Energy, Petroleum Division. All oil marketing companies (OMCs), including HASCOL, import and buy POL products from local refineries in accordance with the official country specifications. Therefore, petroleum products being sold by all OMCs are on exactly the same specifications across Pakistan”.

The OCAC alleged that Honda Civic 1.5 l VTEC Turbo model was currently incompatible with market fuels available in Pakistan because it was a Euro-4 vehicle in a market where Sulphur levels were currently unsuitable for this emission standard. Secondly, the engine management system of this vehicle was improperly calibrated for the Pakistan market and Manganese was extremely unlikely to be the cause of failure of this vehicle. In contrast, Euro-2 vehicles present in the market also have catalytic convertors and were not reporting such issues. Reports that a Honda “team from Japan was replacing the software used in the 1.5 VTEC strongly suggests that the problem is not fuel related but because of an incompatible vehicle emission management system,” it added.

The OCAC demanded Honda Pakistan to withdraw its complaint regarding the alleged sale of low quality fuel or face legal action.