83 octane gasoline may be taken out from the Vietnamese market soon
Tran Van Vinh, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality (STAMEQ), said that these ministries will send an official proposal on the issue to the Prime Minister soon.
Once their proposal is approved, they would work out a roadmap to gradually take out A83 from the Vietnamese market, Vinh noted.
Several scientists have pointed out that A83 has been banned in many countries for years, and that Vietnam should do the same because of its environmental impacts.
Dr. Hoang Manh Hung, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Criminal Science, said, “A83 contains a high amount of sulphur and other contaminants. Among other pollutants, this fuel emits a large amount of sulphur dioxide (SO2).”
Hung, because A83 is low-octane, it should not be used for modern vehicles, but only for those with old technology, such as military vehicles or the older gas-powered boats in the south.
“If A83 is mixed with 92 or 95 octane gasoline, it would actually lower octane of fuel, which would cause more heat and quickly erode engines,” Hung stated.
Le Canh Hoa, former Deputy Director of Additives & Petroleum Products Company, said petroleum traders often adulterate A83 with A92 and A95 in order to increase profits because A83 is cheaper.
A recent inspection by the Branch for Standards, Metrology and Quality under the HCM City municipal Department of Science and Technology showed that 11 out of 55 inspected petrol stores in the city had illegally mixed A83 with A92.
Currently, only two petroleum wholesalers in Vietnam, Saigon Petro Limited Company and PetroVietnam Oil Corp (PV Oil), are authorised to produce and trade in A83, for a combined output of over 400,000 cubic metres per year.
After a spate of unexplained vehicle fires across the country, petroleum quality has been under a shadow of suspicion.