BP has launched what it claims to be SA’s first unleaded fuel without heavy metals – a move that has been welcomed by Naamsa president and BMW SA managing director Ian Robertson.

BP has launched what it claims to be SA’s first unleaded fuel without heavy metals – a move that has been welcomed by Naamsa president and BMW SA managing director Ian Robertson.


BP Southern African and Shell Southern Africa are investing in excess of R700 million at the Sapref refinery in Durban over the next three years to produce cleaner petrol and diesel. The programme also involves an increase in the production of unleaded petrol, while phasing out leaded fuel production.

BP Southern Africa retail director for Africa Richard Fienberg said on Monday that the "cleaner unleaded fuel" would benefit consumers because modern cars were designed to operate using only fuels that do not contain heavy metals.


Robertson welcomed the move and said certain metals in fuel could adversely affect vehicle components "in an irreversible way that negatively impacts on vehicle performance and emissions".


He said he hoped other fuel producers would follow BP's introduction of the cleaner unleaded fuel, because motor manufacturers had complained that the inferior quality of the fuels produced in South Africa rendered them unable to take full advantage of emission-reducing technologies.


Heavy metals in fuels could damage catalytic converters, which were installed to reduce vehicle emissions, said BP Southern Africa GM of retail operations Sipho Maseko.

He said all unleaded fuel produced by BP was now free of heavy metals. The company introduced the cleaner unleaded fuel at 31 service stations in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Soweto and planned to offer the product at 340 sites in South Africa by the end of October.


A Naamsa spokesman said it was anticipated that motorists' needs and vehicle manufacturers' requirements would result in an expansion of the availability of the metal-free unleaded fuel in SA.

Original article from Car