The Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia explained that the reduction in sulphur content in fuel will ensure that associated respiratory diseases triggered by fuel products with high sulphur content decreases.
The Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia was speaking at a Town Hall meeting on Monday at the new court complex in Accra organised by Joy FM,
“The sulphur content in our fuel will be reduced from 3000ppm (parts per million) to 50 ppm.”
He explained that this will help improve the quality of standard of fuel to ensure that the fuel supplied at final dispensing outlets is the right specification.
He added that the reduction in sulphur content will ensure that associated respiratory diseases triggered by fuel products with high sulphur content decreases.
A report by Public Eye, which was released in September 2016, criticised Swiss firms for their links to the trade of diesel in Africa that contain high Sulphur considered illegal in Europe.
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In West Africa especially, the report said “Vitol, Trafigura and Addax & Oryx ruthlessly exploit weak regulatory standards and make the local urban populations pay with their health."
“The result was shocking: as our analysis revealed, the diesel samples contained up to 378 times more sulphur than is permitted in Europe. Furthermore, other toxic substances, such as benzene and polycyclical aromatic hydrocarbons, were also found in concentrations that are also banned in Europe.”
The report points to weak regulatory standards in Africa which allow diesel to have a sulphur content of more than 2,000 parts per million (ppm).
Media reports suggest some allow more than 5,000ppm. In Europe, the standard is less than 10ppm.
The Vice President said Ghana will be "at the same level as the Western or East African countries in this regard. I think this is a major policy for us as far as the environment and controlling the toxins are concerned."
"If you don't have renewable energy to produce, don't come to Ghana, you have to go elsewhere," he cautioned.
“It will ensure the protection of public health through a reduction in the emission of black smoke, sulphur dioxide, hydrocarbons and other greenhouse gases from vehicle exhaust tailpipes,” he stated.