News
January 17, 2014
SOL introduces Low Sulphur Diesel

Manager of SOL operations in St Vincent and the Grenadines Steve Francis believes that commuters and pedestrians here will be able to breathe easier, with the introduction of SOL’s Low Sulphur Diesel.{{more}}

At a ceremony to launch the product last Saturday at the Sunset Shores Hotel, Francis said that he was pleased to introduce the new fuel, which became available on the local market immediately.

“I am very happy to have this product in St Vincent. There was a time when I used to drive with my windows down, but unfortunately there is so much black smoke emanating from vehicles… that I have to drive with my windows up.

“I must tell you that Low Sulphur Diesel will assist in reducing or eliminating that particular smog.”

Francis said that this country will join the rest of the world in seeing the benefits of Low Sulphur Diesel, and according to him, it is just a matter of time before residents here begin to enjoy the benefits as well.

Low Sulphur Diesel contains less sulphur than the fuel that was previously available at the SOL pumps, and according to Michael Merrit, Sol technical advisor, Barbados, there are three distinct advantages to using the new fuel.

These include the reduction of respiratory infections and improvement of diesel engine performance.

“There are a number of detriments, when you have high sulphur fuels….

“The sulphur dioxide contributes to respiratory problems, so that people who might have bronchitis and asthma and things like that, they are sensitive to that and so they have that problem through the breathing.

“However, if you get it down to those levels, those technologies (Low Sulphur Diesel) could now have a secondary function and reduce the un-burnt hydrocarbon, the nitrous oxide and the carbon monoxide in the exhaust gas, so that it makes it easier for persons with those respiratory problems.

“This (Low Sulphur Diesel) can contribute to up to two per cent of your GDP, so if everybody moves to that way, you have an economic benefit to the country, and a health benefit for citizens.

“And then the third thing is that if this acid gets down in the engine, it tends to eat away at the engine parts, so you have cost for maintenance in terms of operations. So, this lowers the cost of operations for people over the long term, there will be better performance because the engines will be in good condition.”

Merritt acknowledged that although the Low Sulphur Diesel is more costly to produce, the government regulated price per gallon remains the same at the moment, which is an incentive for drivers to use the new fuel.

“So, if you’re getting something better at the same price, why wouldn’t you go for it?”

SOL supply manager, Barbados, Kevin Kinports also added to the discussion, saying that the new and improved diesel would not have a negative impact on a vehicle when combined with the High Sulphur Diesel. He, however, advised that drivers make the switch for better performance, especially in the newer diesel engine vehicles.

“A high sulphur engine that works well on high sulphur diesel will work just as well on Low Sulphur Diesel, but an engine that is designed for Low Sulphur Diesel will not, so going down on sulphur will not hurt you at all in terms of your engine performance.(JJ)