East Africa is set to develop to clean fuel standards in 2015 are likely to help absorb excess low-sulphur oil products coming out of Middle East and Indian refineries.
Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda Tanzania, Uganda are set to switch to the cleaner fuels from January 2015, according to documents posted on the websites of the regional intergovernmental organization East African Community (EAC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The fuel switch would come just as refiners in OPEC countries and India install secondary units and new oil plants to produce ultra-low sulphur fuels that meet tighter European environmental standards, worsening a supply glut of the higher grades of transport and industrial fuels.
The EAC countries have been discussing their switch to euro IV standards for diesel and euro III standards for fuel products for a number of years. Under the fuel specification changes, the five East African countries have to lower sulphur content in diesel from 500 parts-per-million (ppm) to 50 ppm, according to EAC and UNEP documents and conference presentations.
Kenya and Tanzania import about 600,000 to 670,000 tonnes of diesel and gasoline every month - about 170,000 bpd - for their own needs and to export to landlocked countries on their borders. Diesel is mainly supplied from India and the Middle East while the gasoline comes from the Mediterranean and Fujairah, the traders said. PetrolWorld 290814