Euro-II to control transport emission but at higher cost

Amanullah Khan

Karachi—As Pakistan moves toward Euro II regime, consumer will have to bear the additional cost for compliance with the Euro II emissions for Fuel, transportation and the motorists in general.

A major source of air pollution, namely emissions from road traffic, can be reduced through enforcement of control standards. A standardized evaluation scale was set up by the European Union back in 1992. These standards are generally known as the European Emission Standards (or Euro Standards). They provide limits for exhaust emissions of all new vehicles. The limits are set at various degrees for various types of vehicles. Pakistan now looks forward to omitting the current vehicular emission standards and moving a step ahead towards the European Emission Standards to stand in line with other countries of the region moving towards Euro III and Euro IV. Pakistan is yet to employ these vehicular emission controls in order to create environment-friendly vehicles.

Previously, the major barrier in the way of the employment of these emission standards in Pakistan was the cost. Now, the government has decided to apply the Euro Emission Standards in the country with effect from July, 2012. For this reason sessions were conducted by the Pakistan Environment Protection Agency with all stake-holders, comprising the Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Environment, oil companies and automobile producers. In these sessions, the quality of the fuel was seriously emphasized as a prime matter of concern.

To fulfill the requirements of the Euro II-compliant policy, the oil marketing companies will need to import Euro II fuel while the cost of production of the auto manufacturers will also increase. Public transport also needs to be Euro II-compliant. This will consequently increase the prices of public transport vehicles which will definitely raise fares. These measures will in the end affect the consumer.

To operate in accordance with the standards of Euro II, the oil refineries are required to be up-graded in term of installing desulphurization unit which cost over $ 200mn. This process of up-gradation requires heavy investment. Automobile manufacturers need to produce vehicles complying with Euro II standards. Some are already manufacturing models complying with Euro II and Euro III standards. For instance all high end (1600cc and above) are Euro II compliant. However all small economy cars need major spec change in term of engine and exhaust to be Euro II compliant.

All major OEMs are working toward making their product Euro II compliant but they fear that consumer will have to pay the costs of EFI engines, exhaust systems and catalytic converter. Even if OEMs introduce Euro II compliant vehicle the lack of Euro II compliant fuel specially diesel will create problem.

The government is taking steps towards complying with the Euro Emission Standards and that in this regard the specifications of Euro II are being fulfilled for petrol engines. However, for Diesel engines, Diesel hydro-treaters are to be installed to decrease the amount of sulphur particles from the Diesel fuel.

As per the government’s Euro II-compliant policy, catalytic converters are to be used that fulfill the requirements of Euro II standard fuel. Basically there are two types of engines. One is the EFI engine and the other is the carburettor engine. EFI stands for Electronic Fuel Injection. The EFI system enhances the performance of the engine and controls emission. Most of the new models are equipped with the EFI system, with a built-in diagnosis system. The carburettor engine system can produce as much horsepower as an EFI engine. The only factor applied is tuning which makes the carburettor engine more efficient. The EFI system is more easily compatible with the catalytic converter than the carburettor engine. The entire conversion procedure cost would up to $ 300. However, for carburettor engines, it would cost from US $ 500 to $ 2,500, which would consequently raise the prices of vehicles quite substantially.

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