ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s state oil and gas regulator said on Thursday it will investigate a complaint that fuel suppliers including local subsidiaries of Shell and Total as well as Pakistan State Oil (PSO) have added manganese to their gasoline.
Honda Motor Co’s Pakistan subsidiary, Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Ltd., filed the complaint, saying the harmful additive appeared to be damaging the engines in its vehicles.
Manganese can be added to fuel to make it appear to be of a higher quality, but it can reduce fuel economy as well as potentially harm public health due to emissions.
“We have received a complaint from Honda, and the relevant department will look into the issue,” said Imran Ghaznavi, a spokesman for the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).
The Honda complaint, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters, said tests had found dangerous levels of manganese in fuel samples from Shell Pakistan Ltd, Total Parco Pakistan Ltd, and Pakistan State Oil Company Ltd.
The tests showed levels of manganese of up to 53 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg), while the additive is deemed at a “danger level” at 24 mg/kg, the Honda complaint said.
Representatives for the individual fuel suppliers and for Honda could not be immediately reached for comment.
Ilyas Fazil, head of Pakistan’s Oil Companies Advisory Council, said on Thursday that he had not heard of manganese additives being a problem in the industry.