Ghana and Nigeria say ‘no’ to dirty diesel

West African countries are putting an end to the import of poor-quality fuel from Europe. According to a report by the Swiss NGO Public Eye, large quantities of ‘dirty diesel’, with high levels of sulfur and other toxins, are imported by European companies. 

The Public Eye report found that European oil companies and commodities traders sell low quality diesel to Africa, with as much as 3 000 parts per million of sulpher; European standards prohibit the use of diesel with a sulphur content higher than 10 ppm. ‘Dirty diesel’ can help cause asthma, lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Ghana and Nigeria are responding to the reports by enforcing stricter limits for the sulfur content of diesel, effective on July 1. Mail&Guardian Africa reports that, from that date, diesel being sold at the pumps in Ghana and Nigeria will have to meet a maximum 50 ppm standard.

Public Eye hopes that other countries in the region, such as Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo and Mali, will take similar actions.

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