Egypt Rejects ACEA’s Low-Quality Fuel Allegations

Egypt’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has affirmed that the Premium Motor Spirits pumped at fuel stations nationwide meets international standards in response to recent allegations that the country uses “low-quality gasoline” which results in vehicle problems.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) had in a recent letter asked the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla to look into owner and operator complaints about the “low-quality gasoline” being sold in Egypt.

Various reactions have been expressed to the letter, dated February 8, 2022, which was posted on social media over the past several hours.

The letter was also sent to the Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat and Egyptian Consumer Protection Agency Director Ayman Hossam El-Dein.

The ACEA, which represents 16 European auto manufacturers, found manganese in gasoline samples from Cairo and Suez, which may lead to engine failure, but not in gasoline samples from Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh.

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The petroleum ministry’s spokesperson, Hamdy Abdel-Aziz, responded on Saturday to the ACEA’s letter by noting that the ministry periodically tests random samples of gasoline kept at its main fuel depots and distributing stations to ensure quality.

“The letter says the problem appeared only in Cairo and Suez. So, why do other cities and governorates remain unaffected despite all local gasoline coming from the [same] refineries and depots?” he added.

The spokesperson reiterated that Egyptian refineries produce gasoline that is free of manganese and other harmful elements, and that an official and technical response will be issued toward the letter.

“If this element [manganese] is added, it will cause damage to the refining equipment,” Abdel-Aziz told El-Hekaya talk show on MBC Masr, expressing his astonishment of the letter’s content.

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He said the samples cited by the ACEA as proof of impurities in gasoline sold in Egypt were taken from tanks in cars, not from fuel stations.

According to him, anyone who wishes to analyze gasoline samples from our fuelling stations or depots is welcome to do so, and we have no objections to it.”

He further noted that some fueling stations sell materials that are meant to increase performance, like octane boosters, and these materials may be the reason why some cars are malfunctioning.

The Egyptian government pumps 30 million litres of gasoline into all fueling stations every day, according to Abdel-Aziz.

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This back-and-forth follows a recent dispute in the automobile community concerning malfunctioning turbo-equipped European cars – including the Opel Astra – allegedly caused by fuel impurities.

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